Blue Deal Melbourne

Master of Architecture
Semester 2, 2020

Studio leader(s)


The current pandemic has produced an economic crisis with severe repercussions for metropolitan conurbations and their citizens around the world. Currently, AUS has 1.6 M unemployed with numbers expected to increase dramatically in the near future. As a turnaround strategy – to rebound economic crises – governments in the past, e.g. The New Deal in the US during 30s, invested in large-scale public infrastructure projects. Effectively, these initiatives were job creation programs that produced purchasing power and created further incentives for investment These infrastructure investment programs created economic benefits over the following decades.


Melbourne’s city loop forms a great barrier to develop the future of the central city into a true 21st century
metropolis. The railway land occupies a vast territory to the south and west of the Hoddle grid. As a prime asset,
that land has an extreme value to be used for transportation only. These railyards hinder the city to expand and
connect to the Yarra river and the Docklands basin.


Blue Deal Melbourne! is a call that understands the current crises as a great opportunity to re-think the future of
the city in a more radical way. This rationale is further underpinned by the city’s predicted population of 8M by
2050. The CBD’s railyards form the ideal testing ground to repositioning Melbourne as the Yarra River City!
So far, the Yarra river is at large the CBD’s backyard. If Sydney is renowned for its harbor and natural setting why
shouldn’t Melbourne, beyond its Hoddle grid, become renowned for its fantastic relationship to its waterways?

Design brief

New waterfront: built-forms along the Yarra River to form an interrelated civic network. Climate responsive typologies and models that demonstrate an integrated position in architecture and landscape urbanism aiming at a new urban ecology. Multi-scalar observations and localized responses.


Phase 1: research precedents: visionary urbanism, site analyses
Phase 2: observation and speculation: Students will be working in small focus groups to develop shared visions and site strategies.
Phase 3: proposition: Individuals and/or teams of two students will test the shared vision through large-scale civic proposals.


Highly motivated personalities and risk-taking students, interest in radical urbanism and strategic architecture,
Explorative through excellent 3d communication skills.