Federation Square Review

In April 2019 the Victorian Government committed to a review to inform the future of Federation Square’s built form and to ensure its long-term relevance and value to our city.

The Office of Victorian Government Architect will provide ongoing feedback to the Government over the course of the review. We encourage you to have your say here.


Photograph by John Gollings

Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club

The OVGA welcomes the official opening on 7 July 2019 of the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club by Wood Marsh Architects. Formed in 1948, the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club currently has over 1000 members, with approximately 350 of those junior or “nipper” members. The new facility replaces the one which was more than 25 years’ old, no longer fit for purpose and only catered for 250 members.

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View from the beach towards the Surf Club. Photograph by Chris McConville

Read more: Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club

The Future Park Design Ideas Competition

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'How can parks can shape Melbourne’s urban form?' is the proposition being explored through an ideas competition recently launched by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) in partnership with the University of Melbourne. The Future Park Design Ideas Competition challenges professional and emerging landscape architects, urban designers, architects and planners to speculate on new park possibilities for a future Melbourne. The competition aims to inspire an open and dynamic dialogue between built environment professionals, the broader community, government and developers.

The Office of the Victorian Government Architect is proud to sponsor this competition which promotes ‘reconciliation, biodiversity and evolving concepts of publicness and community’. An international panel of industry experts will judge the competition including Jill Garner, the Victorian Government Architect. Competition entries close on August 1 with the winners announced during the 2019 International Festival of Landscape Architecture in October.

More details can be found here

More details can be found at the following link

Transport infrastructure recognised at the Victorian Architecture Awards 2019

From rest areas and bridges to new train stations, several notable transport infrastructure projects were acknowledged in the Award categories for Urban Design and Public Architecture in recognition of their role in shaping urban and regional environments.  Awards to level crossing removals reinforced the public domain benefits associated with elevating rail in a growing city.

Read more: Transport infrastructure recognised at the Victorian Architecture Awards 2019

2019 Victorian Architecture Awards

The 2019 Victorian Architecture Awards Winners were announced on Friday 28th June. The OVGA congratulates all the winning projects, chosen from a strong field of work which represents some of the best new architecture in Victoria.

Read more: 2019 Victorian Architecture Awards

Melbourne Knowledge Week (MKW) 20 - 26th May 2019

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Image above: North Melbourne

The OVGA’s Melbourne Knowledge Week event showcased good design in intensifying inner Melbourne. In a day themed ‘living closer together’, the Victorian Government Architect chaired a discussion with three designers who spoke about their recent projects in North and West Melbourne. Architects James Legge of 6 Degrees Architecture’s development at the corner of King and Hawke Street - a precinct of medium density buildings, with single hung apartments around a courtyard. Joshua Wheeler of MGS Architects illustrated the design journey for Oznam House, resource centre and housing for homeless men. Skye Haldane from Melbourne City Council spoke about expanding green spaces in the ‘grey to green’ strategy and the design approach to reclaiming road space. All spoke to the role of good design and in a densifying area.

The event was also a launch of a self-guided walking map. This is a snapshot of North and West Melbourne and how it is adapting to densification. It steps past new buildings next to old, contemporary adaptations, modern classics from the 20th century, and reimagined green spaces. It highlights the existing character and new designs that responds well to the context. Densification is changing the precinct’s edges and the design of buildings and places is responding to effectively manage this evolution.

Bushfire education, science and reflection centre survey


Image above: Supplied, Engage Victoria

The OVGA, Creative Victoria and Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions have been working on an online consultation survey to help inform a place for education, science and reflection around bushfires. In 2018 a Bushfire Advisory Group recommended the creation of a program or space that would provide bushfire education and raise awareness of recent and historical bushfires that have impacted Victoria. This survey seeks community views on the best way to realise the concept. 

You can see the survey and contribute here

Winners revealed: 2019 Victorian Landscape Architecture Awards

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Image above: Monash University Eastern Precinct Garden by TCL.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Victorian awards. Excellence in landscape planning and design was recognised across 14 categories.

The Parks and Open Spaces Award of Excellence was won by Monash University Eastern Precinct Garden, TCL. The jury acknowledged the emergence of exemplary masterplanning and public realm design in tertiary settings. The Infrastructure Award of Excellence went to Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal, noting its contribution to the creation of high-quality public space below elevated rail. The President’s Award went to ‘Living Melbourne – our metropolitan urban forest’ by Resilient Melbourne and the Nature Conservatory. Oculus Landscape Architects won the Civic Landscape Award of Excellence for their restorative and inclusive design of Bendigo Hospital’s grounds.

For more awards information click here.

Evolving City – OVGA @ Melbourne Knowledge Week 2019


Photo Above: North Melbourne Town Hall, photo by OVGA

Melbourne’s population is increasing - but how can we design well for change while keeping our city’s unique character? The OVGA is running an event at Melbourne Knowledge Week on this very issue, Evolving City – Designing for Change.

At this event we’ll hear from three local designers and get a glimpse of how our city is evolving in North and West Melbourne with the launch of walking map. Come and see James Legge from Six Degrees, Joshua Wheeler from MGS Architects and Skye Haldane from the City of Melbourne talk about their projects. Jill Garner the Victorian Government Architect will moderate the session.

The map is a snapshot of how North Melbourne is adapting to change. See examples of new buildings next to old, adaptations of former industrial buildings, high density pockets, modern classics from the 20th century, and reimagined and expanded green spaces. Hear stories about the suburb’s built history – what’s been loved and what’s been lost. Densification is changing the city fast and good design of buildings and places can help effectively manage this change.

The map can be downloaded here

OVGA Recap of Melbourne Design Week

Geelong event

Image above: Stefan Preuss chairing the Design Leadership in the City of Design event, with panel members (from L to R), Dr Robert Treseder, Dr Fiona Gray, Dr Yolanda Esteban, Dr Mirjana Lozanovska, Ralph Webster and Nicole Walters.

This year Melbourne Design Week was celebrated with over 200 events across Victoria. The Office of the Victorian Government Architect was involved with a number of talks, launches and forums.

To kick off, the Office led a series of talks with members of the Victorian Design Review Panel, responding to Design Week’s theme of ‘Design Experiments’, exploring provocations for the future and reflections on how we design our cities and lives.  

An exciting highlight for the Office included Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect, chairing the Jury for the 2019 NGV Architecture Commission, which was announced during Design Week.

For the first time this year the program extended to Geelong, Australia’s only UNESCO City of Design. The OVGA ran a public forum on Design Champions, chaired by Stefan Preuss, Associate Victorian Government Architect, at the Geelong Library. In addition to the forum, the Office led and participated in invited events with targeted industry and stakeholder representatives to stimulate discussion on what design leadership and advocacy might look like for Geelong.

Rounding out our involvement, Jill Garner was also part of a panel on Good Design and Heritage, co-presented by Open House and Heritage Council Victoria in Geelong.

Melbourne Design Week is an initiative by Creative Victoria in partnership with NGV.

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