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Designers selected for $208M Melbourne Arts Precinct redevelopment

Architects have been appointed to redesign the public space for the $208 million Melbourne Arts Precinct redevelopment project.

The project will include an elevated inner-city park and new pedestrian connections, allowing visitors to move from Southbank and the Yarra through Melbourne’s St Kilda road.

Melbourne design practice HASSELL, partnered with New York’s Solid Objects Idenburg Liu (SO-IL) will deliver 18,000 square metres of new open public space for the densely populated suburb.

HASSELL has previously designed Darwin’s waterfront and Sydney Olympic Park. It is currently working on the design for the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project and new public spaces in Shanghai and Shenzen.

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SO-IL has previously worked with New Yorks’ MoMA and Frieze Art fair and is currently creating a new waterfront in Paris.

The winning bid put a strong focus on nature and will include seasonal gardens by horticulturalists Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough, who transformed London’s Barbican Centre.

Overall, the project is expected to create 10,000 jobs during construction and 260 ongoing jobs. It is expected to draw an additional three million people to the area each year after its completion.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said the project will reshape Melbourne’s cultural and creative precinct, bringing more people into a public square and improving access.

“The new public open space will draw people into the heart of the rejuvenated Sturt Street Arts precinct which continues to grow as the home to over 40 different arts and cultural organisations and performance spaces,“ Foley said.

Project Directors Ben Duckworth (HASSELL) and Jing Liu (SO–IL) said the project was a rare opportunity to help shape Melbourne and connect them with nature as they experience the city on a day-today basis.