News & Media

Architects appointed to plan Southbank Precinct

Australian architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt) have been appointed to design a new cultural precinct at Southbank, Minister for the Arts Lynne Kosky and Minister for Planning Justin Madden, said today.
Ms Kosky said fjmt would bring expertise in architecture as well as urban and landscape design to transform the precinct into a major pedestrian-friendly arts and cultural attraction.”fjmt is responsible for some of Australia’s most exciting designs, including New Parliament House in Canberra, the Scientia complex at the University of New South Wales, and The Mint in Sydney,” Ms Kosky said.
“At Southbank, they will be responsible for developing detailed plans and schematic designs to improve connections between Southbank’s major arts and cultural venues and to the CBD.”
The Brumby Government has committed $5 million to support the planning and schematic design of the project, which will transform the area into a major pedestrian-friendly arts and cultural attraction.
Southbank is a major hub for arts and cultural facilities, including the Arts Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, the CUB Malthouse, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the Victorian College of the Arts and associated Secondary School and the Iwaki Auditorium at the ABC headquarters.
It is also home to the new Melbourne Recital Centre and Melbourne Theatre Company Theatre development, due for completion in 2009.
“These facilities offer the very best in the performing and visual arts and between them attract more than 3.5 million patrons each year. They require a high quality, accessible, public environment,” Ms Kosky said.
Mr Madden said the redevelopment at Southbank would provide better pedestrian access to the venues and ensure their integration with the public space.
“The plans for the redevelopment will include the creation of an expanded public plaza linking the Arts Centre’s two buildings, providing new space for events and performances, and a pedestrian promenade connecting Sturt Street to St Kilda Road,” Mr Madden said.
“There is also potential for the development of the vacant, former YMCA site and for the integration of the National Gallery of Victoria’s gardens into the public space.”
The Southbank Cultural Precinct Redevelopment is a Brumby Government initiative and partnership between Arts Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment and the Office of the Victorian Government Architects.