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A New Vision for Melbourne's Nicholas Building Includes a Lush Rooftop Pavilion and Green Space

Investors are hoping to retain the landmark site's status as a vital creative and cultural precinct, keeping it affordable for artists while adding some exciting new features.
By Libby Curran
October 10, 2022
By Libby Curran
October 10, 2022

For many, it's already considered the creative heart of Melbourne's CBD — its myriad studio spaces playing host to countless creatives and their artistic endeavours over the past four decades. But the iconic Nicholas Building is now set to take things to a whole new level, under bold new redevelopment plans unveiled this week.

The vision would build on the art deco beauty's status as a significant creative precinct, adding a new rooftop pavilion and green public space, and a live performance venue.

Aimed at ensuring the site remains a cultural precinct of affordable creative studios, the proposal is the work of social impact capital firm Forza Capital, the City of Melbourne and a new purpose-built cultural foundation occupying nine levels of the historic Swanston Street tower.

Currently home to more than 200 creative studios and businesses, the landmark site was put on the market in July 2021, spurring the Nicholas Building Association to launch a campaign to save it from developers.

Thousands petitioned to retain the building as a cultural asset and many donated to the cause, which will help fund the new plans, along with investments from the three groups spearheading the project.

In addition to the rooftop pavilion and public space, which'll boast inbuilt state-of-the-art solar technology, the proposed revamp would include improved facilities, a multi-functional performance space and a slew of new hospitality offerings.

Ultimately, the Nicholas Building would play host to a diverse self-determined creative community, and provide a home for leading cultural service and festival organisations — many of which are set to be displaced as a result of the NGV redevelopment.

Plans would also see the building facilitating a strong cultural events program in collaboration with a range of local and international players — from exhibitions and performances, to festivals and talks.

The Nicholas Building, via Visit Victoria

You can see the full plans and stay tuned to the latest developments at the Nicholas Building Association website.

Published on October 10, 2022 by Libby Curran
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