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500 Bourke Street – Placemaking Strategy


Melbourne, VIC - ISPT Super Property (2020)

Categories and services:

  • Placemaking Strategy

  • Commercial Precincts 

More than just a workplace - a vibrant lifestyle destination in Bourke Street’s west end.

500 Bourke Street is a landmark CBD office building located along Bourke Street’s west end, anchored by a public plaza, bounded by laneways and in the midst of beautiful heritage buildings. Its main tenant – the National Australia Bank  – will be vacating the property in April 2021, and 500 Bourke Street owners, ISPT Super Property, are taking this unique opportunity to re-envision and refurbish the building and its public plaza. To ensure that the refurbishment is considered in relation to the changing nature of commercial precincts, user aspirations and the broader urban context, ISPT adopted a placemaking approach to the redevelopment of 500 Bourke Street.


Village Well was engaged to develop a Placemaking Strategy for 500 Bourke Street, which included engagement with the project team and project architects Fender Katsilidis, deep place research and the development of a compelling placemaking vision, tailored and prioritised placemaking recommendations and customer journey mapping.


The beginning of Village Well’s placemaking work coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent social isolation measures in Australia. Village Well proactively adapted its method and approach to the project to ensure Client objectives were met and engagement was effective. It catalysed the conversation around what a post-pandemic office experience would be like and re-framed ideas around the importance of access to public space, laneways and rooftops in commercial precincts. The process and project overall has been successful in galvanising the project and design team around a vision for a refurbished 500 Bourke Street, and will guide ongoing work. Outcomes of the work have also informed the development of a position description for a future ‘Place Manager’ for the revitalised Precinct, and Village Well has provided ongoing strategic advice regarding project branding.

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