Construction forges ahead at Seafarers

In anticipation of the opening of Seafarers in 2024, Riverlee was delighted to confirm the completion of another key construction milestone.

With its retention wall and structural columns now firmly in place, basement works have now commenced at Seafarers, making way for structural works of the Fender Katsalidis-designed building to begin.

The project began with the careful dismantling of components from the heritage-listed Goods Shed No. 5 that were transported to a facility in Sale, Victoria for preservation and refurbishment.

Trusses have been stripped of corrosion, doors salvaged and reinforced, while windows are being reglazed for future use. Bluestone pavers have been catalogued and will be returned to their former location.

Following this, construction began with the installation of a sheet piling retention wall.

Icon Construction project manager Nicholas Mascitti says the wall was recognised as the best methodology to navigate site conditions — its proximity to the waterline of the Yarra River and the ground conditions of Coode Island silt — and ensure the integrity of the foundation works, the heritage building and the safety of the Icon team.

Achieving this, a piling rig arrived on site at Seafarers to support the provision of structural columns into the site’s foundation.

In a method known as CFA, piles were constructed by rotating an auger approximately 30 metres into the silt, leaving a cylindrical cavity that was pumped with concrete as the auger was slowly removed. A steel cage was then added to the cavity to further strengthen the structure.

With the Seafarers site now adequately prepared for structural works, basement construction has now begun, with the rest of the architecturally-significant building to follow.

Mr Mascitti says the methodical ground works had paved the way for a landmark project to come to life.

“With its heritage elements and sustainable design, Seafarers has a lot of bespoke elements that make it a very unique and high-end project,” he says.

“Iconic, landmark developments are the projects we love to build, and I think that’s exactly what Seafarers represents in Victoria at the moment.”