The Emporium redevelopment involved demolition and rebuilding of two thirds of a city block at the heart of Melbourne’s retail core, extending between Lonsdale Street and Little Bourke Street. RBG overcame the challenges and complexities of the demolition and new build presented, particularly given the retention of significant heritage façades on both Lonsdale Street and Little Bourke Street. The Emporium development introduced 43,856 square metres) of new, state of the art retail floor space in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.

Key technical challenges

The following key elements were included:

  • Large internal void zones without columns
  • 40m high facade retention to inner CBD Arterial
  • Reduced transfers and rationalised grids for
    economy and functionality
  • PT floor plates with lateral support by way of jump
    formed cores and shear walls
  • 11m additional excavations with ground anchored
    soldier piles to basements

Incorporating long span structure to restrict column interruption to retail shops and arcades, precast shell beams were used in the structure along with post tensioned beams and one way slabs. Basements were introduced that undermined the existing 40m heritage façade by up to 11m with sensitive services zones in adjacent footpaths and roadways. A key element to the development was the temporary support of the heritage façade to Lonsdale Street and the fact that busy bus routes on Lonsdale Street could not be interrupted. Thus a large gantry frame was designed to span the southern carriage way to the median strip.

Project Metrics

Project Value:
AUD $300M
Year Completed:
Building Metrics:
46,175m2 total area
6 levels + 2

Project Metrics

Novion Property Group
Buchan Architecture
Robert Bird Group
Structural Engineering