A new identity for the Walk Arcade 

By Laurence Dragomir

The long-mooted redevelopment of the Walk Arcade looks to finally be progressing following the submission of an application to DELWP on February 9 for “alterations, additions (including partial demolition) to existing buildings for the purposes of retail premises, residential hotel and gym”. 

Located in the heart of the city in the Bourke St Mall and extending through to Little Collins St plans for the major overhaul of the well-known shopping mall looks set to include a new hotel, replacing the existing red-brick warehouse which extends to Little Collins St with a focus on activating Union Lane with glazed shopfronts.

The design supersedes plans prepared over five years ago with the only elements of that particular design coming to fruition being the entry canopies to Bourke St which were installed as part of the first stage of works.

Further north, the University of Melbourne has announced the appointment of a team of architects and designers for its $229 million New Student Precinct on the Parkville Campus.

Led by Lyons Architecture, the successful team was chosen from a shortlist of five design groups and comprises Koning Eizenberg Architects, Aspect Studios, Breathe Architecture, NMBW Architecture Studio, Greenaway Architects, Glas Urban and Architects EAT.

The New Student Precinct will be located on the corner of Grattan and Swanston streets, and is bound by Monash Rd to the north and the Melbourne School of Engineering Precinct to the west.

Encompassing nine buildings, the precinct will bring together the university’s student unions, academic services and the Institute for Indigenous Development, Murrup Barak, for the first time – significantly reshaping and revitalising the landscape and built environment of the site.

Much of the development will be through the adaptive re-use of existing buildings, including extensive refurbishments and facade treatments

Works started on site in January with completion scheduled for 2021–2022.

Sticking with the theme of tertiary education institutes, Victoria University has submitted plans to Heritage Victoria for a proposal to restore and refurbish the former Land Titles Office (LTO) and Strong Room, with a new vertical campus tower at 247-283 Queen St.

John Wardle Architects are responsible for the design of the 17-level tower, which would rise from behind the restored LTO building to a height of 87.5m.

The proposal will feature a total net lettable area of 23,263 sqm with 27 per cent of space dedicated to formal teaching and learning.

This program will be supported by an osteo and dermal clinic, entrepreneurial hub, VU College and social spaces, with a new pedestrian link at ground level between the LTO Building and the proposed tower also on the cards.

And finally, Urban Melbourne last month highlighted the sheer volume of commercial projects underway in the central city, including:

Wesley Place;

271 Spring St;


Collins Arch;

80 Collins St;

839 Collins St;

405 Bourke St;

311 Spencer St;

See the full list and details at

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