Siteworks – Saxon Street, Brunswick

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Council acquired 1200 square metres of new public open space in 33 Saxon Street, Brunswick located at the south west corner of Saxon and Phoenix Streets, with the intention of creating a new community hub.

The site contains large open areas and two main buildings including an iconic historic house built in 1888, located in the middle of the site. The creation of a new public open space that wraps around the southern part of the house was the first stage of this project.

Subsequently, planning permission was approved for to allow a multi-functioning community space to thrive: Demolition, buildings and works and use of the land for an Art Gallery, and Place of Assembly (excluding Amusement Parlour, Circus, Cinema, Drive-in Theatre, Library, Nightclub, Place of Worship and Restricted Place of Assembly); and reduction of the standard car parking requirements for uses permitted by this permit and use as an Education Centre and Cafe, in accordance with the endorsed plans.

An amendment to the planning permit has recently been approved, providing even more flexibility for community events and uses, as opportunity to incorporate an innovation and office hub.

This is now a thriving public space for community groups and events, with  facilities available  for training, education and skill-sharing, symposiums and exhibitions, performance development and community projects.

The site is run by a dedicated team who have brought life and vigour to this highly adaptable space: Siteworks



Capacity: Trí Spatial Planning / Urban Planner, Moreland City Council

  • Provided planning advice to the Brunswick Place Manager regarding suitable uses for the site and steps to meet planning policy requirements.
  • Engaged with the site management team and refined the proposal to suit the growing needs of this public space.
  • Tailored the permit application documentation to ensure an ‘open’ permit was approved, allowing for wide-range uses to occur.
  • Provided advice and design input to ensure the integrity of the heritage building is protected through new development.
  • Achieved permission for use and development of the site for a wide-range of uses to serve the community, tackling complex use requirements and addressing stigma regarding potential adverse uses.




The Siteworks Project recently received the ‘Small Scale Place Project Commendation’ at the Asia Pacific 2018 Place Leaders Awards. This commendation acknowledges the diverse and active use of this community space and the achievement of the project team in building such a facility.

This is an innovative placemaking approach that grapples with diminishing local resources in a rapidly changing environment. In bringing a disused building back to life, this project shows how low cost, sustainable reuse and community based placemaking approaches can be successfully applied. Together with the appreciation of changing population characteristics and the redevelopment of an inner-city location, this project responds to resident need to establish a large and flexible space for a range of community led, supported and initiated activities.