Webb Dock West RoRo Terminal

Webb Dock West RoRo Terminal

Designed by Plus Architecture, this minimal modernist building, located at Webb Dock West, is evocative of a Jeffrey Smart painting.

Finely detailed, there’s a simple and graphic quality to the design.

This three-level building is an automotive terminal for MIRRAT; Melbourne International RoRo (roll-on roll-off cargo) Automotive Terminal.

It features a flat roof, large picture windows, and is finely poised on slender columns.

The glass, concrete, steel, and recycled concrete building creates a high-tech ‘industrial’ aesthetic while still providing a comfortable and stimulating work environment for staff.

With the location and the need for unimpeded sight lines, the design delivers a sense of transparency, both through and around this unique facility.

The interior of the facility contrasts the industrial exterior; featuring green walls and natural timbers the central atrium provides communal gathering points for occupants.

The rooftop amenities deck provides further leisure space with BBQ, bar and seating spaces.

The rooftop is designed to appear almost as a bridge from a ship overlooking the docks, tying the architectural design back to the building’s location.

The client’s vision for the WWL Melbourne International RoRo Terminal was to create a leading-edge triple bottom line automotive terminal that would be able to meet the logistic requirements of the future.

This objective was consistent with WWL’s Caster Green Terminal Concept and long-term corporate commitment to extending its Zero Carbon Emissions ambition to port and land activities.

The goal was to create a SMART terminal and processing centre that worked to minimise the environmental impact of port-based operations by improving efficiency and investing in innovative technology at local, regional, national and international levels.

Beautifully conceived over three levels, the spartan recessed ground level features a graphic staircase.

The upper two levels offer open plan offices equipped with kitchen and breakout areas, the latter doubling for informal meetings.

As well as offices for the control centre and customer services there is a gatehouse, warehouse, a workshop, and facilities for stevedores and truckers.

Rather than concealing the fixtures and fittings, Plus Architecture’s design expresses the structure, whether it is exposed ducts circling the ceiling or feature lighting.

Rather than superfluous detail, Plus Architecture’s design perfectly captures its client’s vision to create a cutting edge ‘triple bottom line’ automotive terminal that would not only meet the current logistical requirements but importantly, those projected well into the company’s future.

The terminal services 400,000+ vehicles a year.

By 2040, volume is expected to exceed one million vehicles annually.

This future also includes zero carbon emissions to both port and land activities and to create a ‘SMART’ terminal and processing centre that minimizes the environmental impact, not just at a local level, but also at the regional, national and international environment.

Webb Dock West RoRo Terminal was the first project in Australia to receive an excellent ‘As Built Infrastructure Sustainability (IS)’ rating from the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) recognizing the project’s commitment to providing sustainable infrastructure.

The project was also awarded a 6 Star Green Star rating for its administration building from the Green Building Council of Australia and was a finalist in the Sustainable Cities category of the 2016 Banksia Awards.

Collaboration with the client contributed to the project’s achievement of rigorous standards in environmental performance, efficiency, competitiveness, and flexibility.

The facility itself presents a number of unique features and there were a number of unique aspects created throughout the actual build.

Around 200,000 tonnes of recycled material was used throughout construction and the project featured one of the largest post-tensioned slabs in the southern hemisphere.

The terminal is designed to have net positive energy; making more power than it uses.

Project Details

Completion date – 2016

Project Team


Plus Architecture

Founded in 1997, Plus is an award-winning, integrated master planning, architecture and interior design practice.

Through a thoughtful and professional approach, the Plus team’s capabilities deliver a wide range of project typologies and scales.



Leighton Contractors

Leighton is now part of CPB Contractors, the Australasian construction company of the CIMIC Group. They combine the construction expertise and track record formerly delivered by Leighton Contractors and Thiess, along with the people and projects of Leighton Asia and subsidiary Broad Construction.



Jaime Diaz-Berrio

Melbourne-based photographer Jaime Diaz-Berrio trained in Architecture and has worked in Mexico and Australia designing residential, commercial and industrial spaces.


Photo Gallery

Click on a thumbnail image to enlarge.

Design © 2020 Plus Architecture. All Rights Reserved.| Images © 2020 Jaime Diaz-Berrio. All Rights Reserved.

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Melbourne International RoRo
Article Name
Melbourne International RoRo
Plus Architecture designed the award-winning Melbourne International RoRo (roll-on roll-off cargo) Automotive Terminal.
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Builtworks | Celebrating Australia's Built Environment