Blockhead concept - This little piggy went to market (on his fixie)

Following Anstey in Colour and Anstey in Development, the final instalment is… "This little piggy went to market (on his fixie)". Today we look at Brunswick Market (661 Sydney Road), its immediate derelict neighbours on Florence Street and the potential development opportunities that exist within the precinct.

The strategy covers a number sites, which are but a short stroll or fixie ride from Anstey Station and Sydney Road. See Google Maps image below, with site highlighted in a rich shade of Brunswick Green.

As John Batman once declared on the banks of the Yarra, to whomever was listening "This is the place for a village!" So too do we at Urban Melbourne decree that this is "the place for a village!"

The strategy behind the plan is simple: live local, grow local, buy local - a self sustained village of sorts. The market traders could live within any one of the 5 apartment buildings or shop top homes, the fruit and vegetables would be grown on-site and sold on site, with the Brunswick Market housed in a new building fronting Sydney Road, integrated with an urban farm to the rear that spills out onto Florence Lane (nee Street).

Anstey Village overview

Key features

  • A rebuillt Brunswick Market.
  • A Multi-storey urban market housed within a glass house.
  • 5 apartment buildings ranging in height starting from 3 storeys fronting Sydney Road and rising to 13-storeys facing Breese St, employing a variety of materials to break down the visual mass and create an identity for each tower element.
  • The pedestrianising of Florence Street with a strong interface between it and the new market / multi-storey urban farm.
  • Shoptop housing along Florence Lane with a mix of retail spilling onto the laneway with plenty of bicycle parking.
  • An expansive rooftop park.
  • North facing sky gardens interspered between apartments.

Whereas my last renders for integrated vertical farming were more about exploring a notion, Brunswick Village is certainly a more viable commercial concept. Regardless of whether the site is owned by state, private of institutional interests the concept could proceed given the acquisition of a minimal number of adjoining sites.

Without burdening readers with a thorough business case, development would roll out as follows. The current vacant carpark would be developed initially, with profits from residential unit and retail space sales to fund the still running market redevelopment. Stage two involves redeveloping the market space fronting Sydney Road to the north of Florence Street. The new market would move into this area and stage three would see the remainder developed, delivering additional multi-stotey urban market space along with a signature circular residential building.

There you have it, the potential to deliver a redeveloped market with improved urban outcomes whilst having the market run continually in some way, shape or form throughout the construction process.

Next up is a revamped Station Pier. Feel free to leave your suggestions as to what you'ld like to see next. Enjoy the images below.

Current view of Florence Street from Sydney Road


Mark Baljak's picture


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Peter Maltezos's picture

Laurence is the man with a plan! enlightened yes

I collect, therefore I am.

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prop303's picture

What a fantastic proposal!

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Chris Peska's picture

Hi prop303. Unfortunately it isn't a proposal :-( Blockhead contributes to Urban Melbourne by creating urban concepts which provoke thought about what could be achieved for a site. If you have an idea for a concept for a particular site, feel free to make a comment in the dedicated forum thread for Blockhead and we'll see what he can muster up :-)

Observe. Design. Build. Live.

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007's picture

Its unfortunate Moreland Council has done nothing to start the ball rolling on cleaning this place up FIRST.
they are very happy in taking the Developers and Rate payers money for street upgrades and beautifing the area and telling people about the upgrades to come what they dont understand is that these upgrades should have come 10 years age to encourage developers to build some thing special to show case the vision for all Moreland new village projects around this area unfortuately all they have done is encourage developers to build Dog box apartments and leave quickly.
Really unexceptable in this age.

i would have thought that a new village would have some improvements in place FIRST


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Adam's picture

This is the change that the area needs.

As the developer of The Commons in Florence Street, it would be great to tie in our development with other projects with a similar ethos and focus on sustainability and local produce.

We are getting ready to crane lift 46 planter-boxes on to the rooftop garden in the next month - just think how many planterboxes we could fit on the market site!! Better yet, a vertical farm!

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Alastair Taylor's picture

Welcome Adam, and congratulations for being the first representative of a developer to identify yourself on here - your voice and others like it are just as welcome as our user's and the community's at large and I look forward to seeing more contributions!

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