The Victorian Government has appointed two design practices based in Melbourne and New York to design a new public space for the Melbourne Arts Precinct.
Local practice HASSELL will partner with Brooklyn-based SO-IL to lead a local and international team for the redevelopment.
The Melbourne Arts Precinct transformation project will include an elevated inner-city park and new pedestrian connections into and throughout the area, enabling visitors to move seamlessly from Southbank and the Yarra, through Melbourne’s iconic St Kilda Road cultural institutions.
The project will deliver 18,000 square metres of new and renewed open public space in what is one of Australia’s most densely populated suburbs.
HASSELL is an award-winning design practice with extensive experience in public space design, from Darwin’s waterfront to Sydney Olympic Park.
The team is currently working on the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project, as well as major new public spaces in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
SO-IL (Solid Objects Idenburg Liu) has previously worked with New York’s MoMA and Frieze Art Fair andis currently creating a new waterfront in Paris.
The winning bid puts a strong focus on nature and will include seasonal gardens by world-renowned horticulturalists Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough, who transformed London’s Barbican Centre.
The Victorian Government has invested $208 million over two years in the first phase of the project, to kick-start planning and enable the NGV and Arts Centre Melbourne to begin raising philanthropic funds for the revitalisation.
Overall, the project will create 10,000 jobs during construction, and 260 ongoing jobs. Once complete, it is expected to draw an additional three million people to the area each year.