Acland Street Renewal


  • BKK Architects
  • McGregor Coxall
  • City of Port Phillip


The Acland Street Renewal project re-imagines the street as a centre for sustainable transport, public space and local identity. The project delivers a new destination at the end of one of Melbourne busiest tram routes.

The project creates high quality public space coupled with increased trading areas for commercial operators. A public square accommodates a variety of events for tourists and locals. A new tram stop supports sustainable transport while cars have been removed entirely from the eastern end of the street.

A bold design language builds upon the existing culture while creating something new for this invaluable cultural asset.

Key Features


Community Infrastructure
The new street provides a flexible public square that accommodates a variety of uses for the local community. By relocating the tram stop away from Barkley Street, a 500m2 flexible “Community Canvas” was created.

This space has been designed balance the need for open flexibility, while ensuring that it feels lively and full between events. The square is actively managed by local council, with systems in place to facilitate community groups and locals to host events.


Local Economy
The design brings increased space for business along the street to trade.

The shopping, eating and entertainment businesses along Acland Street are a pivotal part of local culture. The project increased outdoor trading areas by 25%, giving business greater capacity.

Increased footfall that comes from better transport infrastructure means that local business get more exposure. By enabling local business to prosper, the street continues to be a destination for tourists and locals.


Sustainable Transport
The new design provides sustainable transport and accessible infrastructure for all users, improving the entire 96 route with increased services.

The tram stop is seamlessly integrated into the street scape, allowing the infrastructure to be become part of the public space.

To prioritise pedestrian movement, all vehicular traffic and parking was removed from the street. This not only creates a calm and friendly atmosphere, but has made a dramatically safer street for pedestrians.

The impacts of the design are felt beyond the local scale, improving traffic flows and public transport services for the broader region.


Cultural Identity
The design builds on the culture and identity of the local St Kilda area, demonstrating the value that place making has in urban design and infrastructure. All elements of the street are tied together through the geometric language of circles.

The tram stop, seating, shelters and paths are all integrated though the vibrant design language. The circle motif links conceptually to seaside St Kilda, evoking bubbles, sea foam and celebration. By linking the various elements of the street together with this strong design language, the project exhibits a coherent identity that represents the character of the area.


Pedestrian Amenity
The success of the project is established though careful implementation at all scales. As well as adding 25% extra pedestrian space on the street, other pedestrian amenities were carefully arranged and designed.

The circle motif is further expressed through custom street furniture and shelters. This creates ample opportunity for pausing, people watching or just resting without the need to make a purchase.

Sculptural canopies scattered throughout the street function as both general and dedicated tram stop shelters, further blurring the distinction between infrastructure and public realm.

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