Anstey in colour

Anstey Station - a few short years ago I would have required a map and compass to find it, yet now the surrounding area could be considered the crux of all that is good and bad with higher density development in Melbourne. By way of Anstey Square (completed 2010) and subsequent apartment developments, I've wandered through with camera many times over to discover there was far more to this area than meets the eye.


Anstey carries a certain character and urban grit than cannot be easily replicated elsewhere in Melbourne. Granted i've focused primarily on the local street art through the slide show below, but the area offers much more on a basic level. The bustle of Brunswick market, local coffee roasting houses, a multitute of Middle Eastern bakeries and stalwarts such the the Royal Nut Company provide a feast for the senses. The people are no less interesting; ageing inhabitants of European or Middle Eastern descent mixed with the contemporary Brunswick hipster type and all that lies between. Streets and laneways adorned with a variety of art also adds to the ecclectic feel of the area.



Yet it's quite conceivable that all this could be lost soon enough as the area falls under the ever expanding gaze of apartment developers. I would be the first to argue that a light industrial inner city area such as this is ripe for higher density apartment living. Sandwiched between Sydney Road and the Upfield rail line in an already highly desireable area to live, Anstey is dominated by single level factories and presents a golden opportunity to implement a sustainable higher density outcome while still being sympathetic to the areas urban character.


And therein lies the problem. Enjoy the images below as many will seemingly be lost soon enough. In next weeks sequel to Anstey in colour, Urban Melbourne will look at the new developments sweeping through the area and the resultant change in urban character (generally for the worse), plus what could be implemented to achieve a greater urban outcome.



Close up of work by LucyLucy


Chris Peska's picture

there is some really awesome stuff wow!

Observe. Design. Build. Live.

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Samson Fish's picture

Very nicely shot - well done, you've got a great eye.

This work is all temporary and new work will reappear on the new surfaces.

Many of Melbourne's former architectural glories ended up in this area, having been wrecked by Whelan and dragged up to his yard at the Anstey square development area.

Anstey has been in a slow and shabby transition for a long time. The new developments have been generally for the better, though agree it would be nice for some of the characterful factories/warehouses to be retained for residential. What has been built so far is more useful than what was there.

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Dan's picture

I live in this area. And totally agree with the comment about losing it all.
I can't complain as I live in one of these new developments, but only moved in from an old Victorian 400 meters up the road.
It would be nice to have a combination of the old and the new, but I'm not sure I can see that happening. I'm excited about new developments, but also realize what will be lost forever.

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Mark Baljak's picture

Thanks for the replies

Samson - very true about the work reappearing. But my concern is that new developments in the area have a dual effect of reducing available surfaces without replacing them whilst also taking away alot of street level character in the area.

Dan - completely agree.

Anyways i'll fire part two in next week and Laurence will provide some renders as to what UM feels is an appropriate development of Brunswick Market

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Development & Planning

Friday, January 19, 2018 - 06:00
Developer PDG has circulated preliminary images of a tower proposed to grace the Munro site adjacent to the Queen Victoria Market. This follows on from a planning application being submitted for the City of Melbourne-backed development which includes frontages to Therry Street, Queen Street and the rear of Franklin street.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

Transport & Design

Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 07:00
Late last year Urban Melbourne was invited for a tour of the new offices of CAPI in Windsor and a chat with its founder Pitzy Folk. The 1930’s building now known as '151 Albert' had previously housed Telstra and has been refurbished by renowned interior designer and family friend of the Folk family, Tamsin Johnson into 1,400 sqm of office and break out space across two floors and a basement.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.