Title Image

Collins Street Undercroft

What you can do with a hostile urban space
Repurposing forgotten urban spaces

Working with peckvonhartel architects, Darragh O’Brien, founding director of EBD, designed a series of urban interiors in the derelict spaces beneath Collins Street Bridge, in Melbourne’s CBD.  The owner, Walkercorp, sought to provide a small car park, an End of Trip facility (EOT), a bike repair shop and a Tribute boxing gym, to serve the staff of the buildings above and also the wider Docklands community.  Each element contributes to a larger urban renewal initiative.


A key goal was to connect the two halves of the historic Good Shed—once the longest building in the southern hemisphere, cut in half in 2005 to accommodate the extension of Collins Street—while creating a series of attractors to rejuvenate an underused and hostile urban environment.


Formidable site conditions included dramatically low overhead structures and massive ducts for the building above, all of which were eventually and sustainably incorporated into the final aesthetic, by minimising waste.


With a modest budget, the design shifts the boundaries of perception from formerly utilitarian cage-like environments to that of high-end attractor as, for many staff members in the buildings above, these facilities are the first point of contact with their workplace. Each project provides comfort and amenity for the end users, but also punctuates their entire working experience.


Photography: Dianna Snape (EOT and exteriors), Peter Dillon (Boxing Gym)