Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation

Surrounded by the city’s renowned cultural institutions, the vast, ever-changing landscape of the Melbourne Arts Precinct will come alive with art and performance – a display of architecture and nature in perfect harmony.

The site – stretching between the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the Arts Centre Melbourne (ACM) and the future NGV Contemporary – will feature gardens of an unprecedented scale and complexity in Australia. 

Along with our collaborators, we’ve conceived the precinct as a ​constellation of many stories’ guiding visitors through the seasonality of our contemporary cultural landscape. It’s an inviting, accessible place for locals and visitors to meander, gather, play and perform, experiencing both public events and smaller, more intimate moments.

Responding to its setting in Melbourne’s artistic heart, our concept for the public realm embraces beauty with exuberance – to heighten the senses and evoke feelings of joy and delight. We’re creating a clearly identifiable, distinctly Victorian landscape that’s layered and varied, changing not just with the seasons but also from week to week.

At some points the gardens will flow over into the surrounding architecture and boundaries will blur, while in others there will be clear definition between built and natural forms. 

Whatever the approach, the juxtaposition of naturalistic planting against the grand architectural gestures of the NGV and ACM will accentuate both.

Just like the cultural centres that surround it, the transformation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct is designed to captivate people each day while enhancing the city’s future.

“This creative project will reshape Melbourne’s cultural and creative precinct, bringing more people than ever into a fantastic new public space and improving access to everything that the Arts Centre and the NGV have to offer.”

Victorian Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley

Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Landscape Architect: HASSELL

Design Team: Ben Duckworth, Jon Hazelwood, Sharon Wright, David Harrap, Alex Sawicki, Suzie Quinton, Anthony Thevenon, Sarah Willats, Nathania Widjanarko, Emma Haberman, Zoe Yue Lu

Collaborators: SOIL, James Hitchmough, Nigel Dunnett, Arup, FreeState, Steensen Varming, Irwinconsult (Now WSP), Northrop, Philip Chun, Purcell, Charcoal Blue, MGAC

Client: MAP co/ Development Victoria

Image Credits: Diorama

About Damian Holmes 3276 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at