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Collingwood Yards Is Turning the Former TAFE Campus Into a Huge Creative Precinct

The 6500-square-metre site will span retail and hospitality tenants, rooftop and basement bars, galleries, and workshop and performance spaces.
By Sarah Ward
February 24, 2021
By Sarah Ward
February 24, 2021

One big patch of Collingwood is about to look a whole lot different, with the suburb's old technical college site getting a big revamp. Beginning its launch to the public in March, the Johnston Street space is now home to Collingwood Yards, a new contemporary arts precinct that'll house creatives in music, visual arts, performance and digital media across three buildings.

Opening in stages across 2021, starting with big opening day celebrations on Saturday, March 13, Collingwood Yards spreads across 6500 square metres — and that space will be getting mighty busy. The aim is to turn the precinct into a bustling inner-city community of artists, while also functioning as an incubator.

Stefan Postles

It has taken two years to transform the heritage-listed TAFE site, which includes a sprawling courtyard filled with trees that'll host concerts, festivals, markets and community events. Collingwood Yards' trio of buildings will also span retail and hospitality tenants, rooftop and basement bars, galleries, and workshop and performance spaces. And, it includes Keith Haring's eye-catching 1984 mural, which has been restored.

While the precinct won't be up and running in its full glory straight away, you will be able to get a significant taste of what's in store at the open day. Beneath Haring's mural, youth music organisation and record label The Push will highlight Melbourne up-and-comers, while fellow Collingwood Yards tenants Bad Apples Music, Play On, Collingwood Neighbourhood House and Hope Street Radio will also curate a live lineup. PBS106.7FM hasn't moved in yet, but it'll be providing DJs, while the Centre for Projection Art will be doing exactly what its name suggests.

Natalie Jurrijen

Attendees will also be able to check out tenants such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned fashion, jewellery and textiles business Blak Voltron, and music-focused gallery and print publisher Reverb Prints — and wander around an art and design market, watch screenings and drop into workshops.

The open day will be held under COVID-safe protocols, with the site able to host more than 1200 people at once.

Collingwood Yards opens at 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood on Saturday, March 13 — which is when its big open day celebrations will take place. For further details, head to the precinct's website

Images: Peter Clarke, Natalie Jurrijens and Stefan Postles.

Published on February 24, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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