Victoria Channel Authority Control Tower

Victoria Channel Authority Control Tower

In February 2000, the new Commercial Shipping Control Tower and Management Centre for the Victorian Channel Authority was opened by the Minister for Ports, The Hon. Candy Broad. This tower has become a landmark in the Port of Melbourne.

The tower was built down river of the Bolte Bridge with the new facility providing Management Centre Controllers with excellent visibility of shipping movements over the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay.

With sophisticated electronic and radar communications equipment, the controllers monitor and direct all commercial shipping around the Bay including the Port of Geelong. This is a most significant advance since the early days of shipping and communication by flags.

The project presented many architectural and engineering challenges. The need to achieve a 300 degree unrestricted viewing quadrant led to an elliptical shaped observation area located asymmetrically on a 57 metre high tower. The tower includes a lift shaft, a stair and services riser. Given the nature of ground conditions the complete facility is founded on 30 metre deep piles.

Designed to withstand significant environmental and weather influences, the building is a robust reinforced concrete tower sitting on a pile cap. Housing radar instrumentation, the tower is not allowed to move when
a southerly change whips across the bay, which is typical of Melbourne weather.

Material selection was critical to the final design in order to reduce maintenance costs. The tower is a cost effective and highly successful solution to a demanding brief.

Project Sheet

Project Summary

Victoria Channel Authority
Melbourne, Australia
Floor area
Original value


  • Master Builders Association of Victoria, Excellence in Construction 2000