Melbourne Edge


  • Alessandro Castiglioni
  • RMIT University


Melbourne Edge is a proposal for the Southern Development Site and Market Square, located south of the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, Australia.

The project consists of: a mixed use 50 stories high tower housing the City of Melbourne council offices, apartments and a hotel; two mixed use 20 stories high buildings directly behind the existing Franklin Street Stores, housing more council offices, apartments, and a shopping precinct with a movie theater on Peel Street; lastly, a new public square with gardens between the development and the Queen Victoria Market.

Key Features


The project has won the RMIT School of Architecture & Urban Design Award for Design Excellence in the Master of Architecture Program in Semester 1 of 2020.


Melbourne Edge wants to evidence how regulations in the built environment can be understood as catalysts for creative thinking rather than constraints of design working against the ambitions of architects.


A blurring of the Architect and Film Maker professional roles has been explored under the following framework:

Planning Overlay (DPO11) = Production Design >
Employment of architectural typology tropes to draft a narrative through a storyboard framework.

Better Apartment Design Standards (BADS) = Interior Scenography >
Apartments as stage sets for domestic life; the window as a framing device; a voyeuristic relationship between public and private.

Accessibility Requirements (DDA) = Cinematography >
Design through access rather than for access; carving out access points; exaggerating circulation; enabling circulation through color.

C278 Planning Amendment = Exterior Scenography >
Curating architecture through landscape; the garden as a design instigator.

Crime Prevention Principles (CPTED) = Art Direction >
Emphasis on integrated lighting, iconographic signage; voyeuristic relationships for surveillance.


The driver of the proposal is an exploration of the common ground between architecture and film.

While the processes of ‘architecture making’ take the lead in responding to the utilitarian nature of the market site and the planning regulations shaping the development, the processes of ‘film making’ are appropriated to ensure the architecture carries the intangible values that such a civic site should carry.

Five key regulations that constrain the architectural outcome of the development are misinterpreted and paralleled with specific stages of ‘film making’ in order to generate novel and cinematic design outcomes.


The project was developed by Alessandro Castiglioni within the Design Studio framework of \’ Market Forces 2 \’ by Nick Bourns and Leona Dusanovic at the RMIT School of Architecture and Urban Design in Melbourne.

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