OHM 2013: Building E16 - Urban Workshop

Open House Melbourne 2013 entered its fifth year on the ever growing Melbourne events calendar this weekend. Boasting over 100 buildings open to the public all over town, it is a stark contrast to the eight that opened their doors along the Swanston Street spine during the event's inception.

For the second year running I volunteered my services and having completed a shift at Trades Hall in Carlton last year I found myself stationed at Urban Workshop, located at 50 Lonsdale Street in the 'East Precinct.' We had over 400 visitors walk through the doors and take a guided tour of the ground floor lobby by historian Michelle Summerton, as well as the 33rd floor offices of Australian Super who managed the operation of the building for OHM2013.

Urban Workshop Streetscape

The site has a rich history forming part of the notorious 'Little Lon' red light district and once featured a network of laneways that dissected the site in amongst 10 cottages. One of these lane ways is retraced on the paving in the foyer spelling out 'Little Leichardt". The name of another laneway pays homage to a colourful character in Melbourne's past, brothel owner, Madame Brussels.

The current development was designed by John Wardle, Hassell and NH Architecture and was to be constructed by Grocon, yet after a fresh tender process Multiplex ultimately built the complex which became the new home of the Department of Human Services and Australian Super amongst others. The redevelopment incorporated two 19th century buildings into the revitalised streetscape, including what was one of Melbourne's first pubs. Prior to construction commencing, an archeological dig was undertaken on site uncovering over 300,000 artifacts, which are now on display in an installation curated by local artist Rosslynd Piggot, on the ground floor.

For now here are some shots I took from the street and from up on level 33 for those of you who missed out. Ciao.

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Urban Workshop from Meyers Place

Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

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

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
Infrastructure Victoria unveiled a new round of research into its larger programme of work dealing with managing transport demand. The authority contracted Arup and KPMG to produce the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM) and while it is new, it is considered fit for purpose in the strategic context.

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.