A global place with local identity
According to the site analysis and conclusions we need to design
• A place that links the business district and the public parks, a connection between the
urban and the natural world
• A path that connects the city to the sports precincts
• A place that attracts tourism and improve city permeability
• A place that supports and foster the local market and complements the surrounding
• A place with local identity but also multicultural and global
• A place that represents the identity and values of the city
The Melbourne Plaza will be a public space with strong local
identity and a global character, easily identified by the
“M building” or “The Arch of Melbourne”,
a unique commercial sustainable green building that
represents the values and forward thinking of the city.
The site will be a path to the sport centers and the riverbanks;
a friendly, inviting and participative public space for residents
and general public.
• The Melbourne Plaza is a path and a landmark connecting two
important nodes in the city between Swanston street (Fed Square) and
the sports precincts (Birrarung Marr). The main feature of the plaza is
the M building, a 50 meters high by 50 meters wide arch that
represents the triple bottom line ideals of the city.
• The public area is bicycle and pedestrian friendly. Small parks; three
public sport courts; an open bed garden; a children playground area
and some retail shops that have been allocated in old trams. ( Trees
and gardens has been allocated in beds to avoid drainage)
• The project will use materials that minimise environmental impact and
• The location, position and measures of the building has been carefully
thought to accomplish planning regulation on the site.
• The Building is a 6 star rating green building in three categories:
1. Energy efficiency: solar panels and double glazing
2. Water efficiency: water tanks and onsite treatment plant
3. Material efficiency: recyclable construction materials
• The M point: The M point is a circle piazza located at the front of the M building at
the centre of the arch. The piazza is made by concrete and stone and it could also be
used as a platform for aboriginal mosaic (inclusiveness). The ring has an open
fountain in the middle where people can appreciate the arch of Melbourne with lights
at night or play with water in a hot summer day. The water used for the fountain is
recyclable grey water from the M Building. The water is also reused to water green
areas within the site.
• Public Furniture: Our goal with public furniture is to enrich the outdoor space and
respect the relationship with the natural environment. Our design chooses to use
recycled materials and wood that is from regrowth and managed forests. We are
committed to be a place that is environmentally responsible, and a healthy place to
work and play.
• Old trams galleries & retail: The aim of the project is to foster the character and
identity of the city, and one of the main icons of Melbourne are its trams. We want to
recover and retrofit 6 to 10 old trams wagon to strategically allocate them to activate
the edges of the site. We want to create an open tram museum concept that is also a
place to shop, eat or appreciate local art.
• Children Playgrounds: the project considers the allocation of two children
playgrounds build with recyclable materials. The playground areas are intended to
increase the variety and robustness of the site offering attractive alternatives for
• Trails: The project considers the design of five different walkable trails within the site,
which are going to improve permeability and access to the site. These pathways are
going to be made by stone and could also be a platform for aboriginal art mosaic. The
project is also considering a cycle ways on both sides of each trail and access to
disable people in each entrance point.
• Public Lights: Our commitment with people and the environment is reflected in
every public element. Our project will use 100% green energy in all its appliances and
our lighting system will have the potential to cut the cost, energy use, and greenhouse
gas emissions of street lighting. The aim of our Public Lighting system is to improve
the quality of the public realm of the site.
• Green Spaces and vegetation: Our project plan the allocation of different types of
native trees of Victoria distributed evenly on the site; two public open gardens and one
green house garden where is going to be allocated a natural water treatment plant to
purify the grey water from the M building to reuse it in the fountain and to water the
• Sport courts: Three public multipurpose sport courts have been strategically
allocated on the northeast edge of the site. They are a link between the plaza and the
sport precincts and the intention is to invite residents and visitors to play and do
sports. There is one basketball court, one baby football and one tennis court. They
are all open to the public free 24/7.
• The M Building: It is a public – private commercial building that allocates companies,
offices related with the environment and sustainability and some residential apartment
on the southern towers. The 20-storey building is 50 meters high, 50 meters wide, 50
meters long structure made of steel, concrete, wood and double-glazing and it is
considered a medium raise building.
Why an arch?
The arch responds to our aim to make people the centre of our urban
design and the building just a corridor that allow the city to become
permeable towards the Yarra. An Arch is a symbol that can be found in
the main metropolis and it would represent a link between Melbourne and
the world. An arch represents a bridge, a path, a place of sharing and
unity. An arch is a gateway, a door to something beyond it, a passageway
to something more to follow. On a deep psychological level, arches can
signify a period of transition, a passage from where one moves to another
place. Transition signifies change, and the arch represents the
passageways or doorways of that process.
• Character: Strong local identity with a global appearance. It is an M, it is and
arch, It is an environmentally friendly / sustainable space (6 star green building
rating). It is a landmark.
• Continuity and enclosure: There is a clear distinction between public and private
space combining an open and friendly park areas and a private commercial green
building, which is also open to the public.
• Quality of Public realm: The M plaza is an open space with a great variety of
alternatives to do or just pass through it. Accessibility, permeability and sense of
• Ease of movement: The M plaza is friendly and easy to understand, pedestrian
and bicycle friendly with clear paths, public signing, cycle ways and bicycle parking
• Legibility: The place has a clear image and intention. The M plaza is a
path, a link and a landmark, where local and tourist can interact and enjoy
the views of the city.
• Adaptability: The adaptability of the place will be given by the open
space which could be occupied as open public museum, gardens or
• Diversity: The M plaza will be an alternative place that seek to
complement Federation square with open public spaces and some retail
shops located in specific points to activate the edges, creating a market
and cultural diversity in the whole area.
• Project presentation and permits: Council, stakeholders, investors,
• Project development: feasibility studies, business opportunities.