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 crowds of people, 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.


MAP Co / Development Victoria


Wurundjeri Country
Melbourne, Australia


In progress




18,000 sqm


SO-IL, James Hitchmough, Nigel Dunnett, SuperBloom, Arup, Charcoal Blue, Steensen Varming, MGAC, Northrop, Philip Chun, Purcell, Vipac, WSP

Design team

Ben Duckworth, Jon Hazelwood, Sharon Wright, Alex Sawicki, Suzie Quinton, Anthony Thevenon, Ben Horne, David Harrap, Emma Haberman, Hanley Tsang, Lucia Simbana, Michael White, Nathania Widjanarko, Sarah Willats, Stephanie Tame, Stephen Tan, Suchaya Chindakul, Zoe Yue Lu



This 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

The new precinct is a public place full of public facilities, and it calls for an ambitious approach to sustainable development. 

While fulfilling the broader vision of creating a vibrant, comfortable, usable and inspirational environment for all users throughout the year, the precinct aims to minimise impacts on the environment to the greatest degree possible, with:

  • Zero operational energy
  • Zero operational water
  • Zero waste to landfill
  • Zero embodied carbon for materials
  • Zero transport emissions

A precinct-wide approach will tie the existing and new facilities together for both efficiency and resilience.


This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Find out more.