Conceived as a sculptural addition to the robust landscape of Port Melbourne, the Sandridge Lookout sits within a wider masterplan of landscape projects and sound walls designed to improve the interface between port operations and the natural environment. The platform provides visitors with shelter from the elements, elevated views back to Melbourne’s skyline and across Port Philip Bay, and acts as a visual waypoint for walkers, runners and fishers.
Inspired by the ecology of its surrounds, the observation tower’s raking angular form emerges from a re-established native dune-scape, while its materiality reflects the robust dynamism of maritime and port infrastructure. A restrained palette of hardwood decking, Corten and galvanised steel afford the platform and tower an austere, natural presence in an environment dominated by monumental container cranes.
Densely spaced Corten Steel balustrades add another sensory dimension to the visitor experience. The light reverberation of the profiled blades in the wind produces an ethereal soundscape drawing parallels to the Sirens of Greek mythology, calling sailors to their perilous shores with music. The tower form is illuminated at night, allowing its textured galvanised finishes to catch the light, creating a reflection on the waterline and a highly identifiable public beacon when viewed from afar.