As e-commerce continues to thrive in a post-pandemic age, the traditional consumerist spaces of capitalism will soon become obsolete. Located on Lonsdale Street at Melbourne Central, the Ruins of Capitalism proliferates this reality as a ruin of catastrophic redundancy. Whilst the precinct remains habitable, passers-by are exposed to the confronting removal and decay of retail stores, storage facilities and services as their spatial requirements nullify in a growing digital world. As these spaces dismantle over time, its catastrophic conditions remain habitable through the emerging path that enfolds the ruins.

Site Section Perspective

While several retail stores, storage facilities and carpark services remain intact, the majority of the site has entered the final stages of redundancy; the Ruins of Capitalism emerge. The catastrophe continues to be witnessed along the looped ruins path as large machinery violently extract and erode the spaces and interfaces of the past.

Site Diagram

The Ruins of Capitalism sits between two prominent public spaces in the Melbourne CBD: St. Francis Church and adjacent corner of the State Library of Victoria. As a public spectacle, the site allows occupants to witness the ongoing redundancy of Melbourne Central’s Lonsdale Street thoroughfare. As this occurs, paths are punctured into the existing form to enable further exploration.

Interfaces of the Past

Visitors witness and reflect upon the redundant commercial spaces and interfaces of the past. Whilst remnants of the site’s previous life continue to exist, extinct shopfronts remind us of a new reality for capitalist consumerism and its architectural consequences; an emerging public ruin.

Project Video

A juxtaposition of prominent consumerist interfaces in their present and future state. Flashes of the Ruins of Capitalism remind us of an inevitable decay as online consumerism leads to the redundancy of prominent precincts like Melbourne Central. Upon entry, visitors are carried deep down into the ruins as excavations into the underground carpark continue.
Back to top