Rupert Street

Melbourne, Australia (In development)

In 2011 Molonglo Group purchased two large warehouse-spaces on Rupert Street in Melbourne’s Collingwood, a suburb we feel has held onto its rawness and dynamism despite growth.

One property will eventually use the wisdom and talents we’ve learnt from Hotel Hotel (as in, it might be a hotel). In the interim it’s home to Vice, the global youth media company and digital content creation studio, and its iD magazine.

The other property houses artist community, School House Studio, who we support through rental subsidies. We believe artists see the world differently and their tolerance, variant interests and participation must be part of our cities.

We love pictures and story telling. With them we create visual essays of the landscape, our projects and curiosities.

Molonglo is embarking on the sensitive redevelopment of a 2000sqm site in Rupert Street, Collingwood. London-based 6a architects has been commissioned to design the masterplan and buildings for the site. The site currently contains two conjoined warehouses and is home to Vice, the global youth media company and digital content creation studio, and Schoolhouse Studios, an artist community supported by Molonglo through rental subsidies.

Rupert Street will have a continued life as a place for work, congregation and collaboration; with a diverse mix of uses, likely to incorporate a hotel, creative1Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is formed, such as an idea, a scientific theory, an invention, a literary work, a painting, a musical composition, a system, a joke, etc. It is the process of producing something that is both original and worthwhile, It can come in many forms and can be applied to all areas of life and work. co-working, retail, social and cultural spaces.

The development will provide an opportunity for unexpected connections that nurture creativity and sustainability and will be an ongoing place for rich cultural and social programs and activities. The project will investigate methods for encouraging chance encounters in the vertical, those which more commonly exist on the street. It will seek to address issues of inequality in the built environment by finding new ways of encouraging openness and permeability both on the ground plane and across levels—blurring the boundary between public and private, and fostering a sense of wandering and discovery.

Rupert Street will be a prototype, demonstrating that scale and density do not need to undermine quality and character. In development, scale is often delivered using repetition. 

To deliver on economic efficiency, floor plates are iterative; duplicated from one level to the next. Rupert Street will be an experiment in diverse scale with a high degree of variation from one building floor to the next. Rupert Street will employ a recessive architecture; creating structures that are rich, textured and granular and speak to our inner and often unconscious connectedness to natural, weathered materials, wonkiness and idiosyncrasy.

The design will centre on the landscape as protagonist, a response to Collingwood’s need for more green space and opportunities to connect with nature. Planted architecture will go beyond beautification. At Rupert Street there will be a place to see the moon, a place to take refuge from the sun and plants that have histories, meanings and uses. It will employ a recessive architecture, one which sits silently in the landscape, revealing the original form and preserving nostalgic remnants of the site. The use of natural materials will ensure the buildings, like nature, continue to evolve and change over time.

Through this development, Molonglo seeks to address the negative conditions of gentrification (whereby the people who made a place successful in the first place are pushed out), finding new ways to protect current occupants and visitors.

We love pictures and story telling. With them we create visual essays of the landscape, our projects and curiosities. In the case of Rupert Street we have also prepared, Textures of Collingwood, a survey of the local area.

Project NameRupert Street
Project TypeOffice and creative studios
Design Team6a, architects, Molonglo Group
Size2,482m2
StatusIn development