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vision for success

This vision presented to Council represents a starting point, and we welcome your ideas and feedback - email us at Please also let us know if you're happy for your ideas to be published on this site.

St Kilda is unique.

It demands a cultural and architectural response that respects and enhances its unique heritage, location and potential. There is no place for self-interest or for a short-term view.

The development plan for St Kilda's foreshore crown land must be something residents and Melbournians will feel proud of now and in ten, fifty and one hundred years time.

Major changes must be made in order for Council's promises to be delivered.

This requires:

  • Planners and decision makers with the vision, skills and patience to oversee the creation of a special public place
  • Developers with the passion, understanding and integrity to deliver a project that is unique and inspirational, and with a business model that envisages a reasonable financial return
  • A State government willing to step in to protect its public asset against mediocrity, greed and piecemeal compromise
  • A process that is transparent.

Below we have summarised our view of what would constitute a successful development of the site, based on vision for the Foreshore contained in the Urban Design Framework and the aspirations of an informed and engaged public.

We recommend a consultation with local cultural, arts and entrepreneurial leaders to identify a range of commercial opportunities in the arts for the site. Circus, cabaret, and other performing arts should be considered, as should commercial spaces such as art galleries and others to enliven and enrich Melbourne's visual and performing arts scene.

The Palais
The Palais as anchor tenant and centrepiece of the Triangle Site

  • An active and thriving Palais Theatre, as the main attraction on the site
  • A range of uses - a venue for concerts (rock n roll through to classical), cinema, theatre and musicals, red carpet events and community events
  • Appeal to a broad age and income range
  • A fully restored exterior and interior, with services and facilities to enable it to function and compete as a successful multi-purpose venue
  • The whole auditorium retained as one space
  • Preferably free-standing pavilion (recognising that some adjoining structure may be necessary for upgraded facilities).

A cultural precinct
Partner the Palais with a major cultural facility of national significance

  • Facilities and venues that enrich and enliven Melbourne's visual and performing arts scene
  • Establishment of a significant gallery of national stature and/or an indigenous museum of national significance to fill an unmet need in the arts and/or history and storytelling. 
  • Venues that give new life to St Kilda's historical role in nurturing cabaret and circus.
  • Provision of arts activities that produce spin-offs throughout the site and the broader Acland/Fitzroy Streets precinct
  • Creative public-private partnerships to underpin these activities
  • Expert analysis to underpin and guide the exploration of these options.

A seaside fun precinct
Expand and complement role of the Palais, continue the traditional role of the site as seaside fun precinct

  • Encourage activities that contain a sense of fantasy and play, stronger connections to Luna Park and its sense of seaside fun.
  • A thriving, creative centre of cultural production
  • Major arts incubation
  • Focus on art-house, alternative, underground, exotic, multicultural, non-mainstream forms of entertainment.
  • Entertainment options targeted to a broad range of cultural, income and age groups
  • Entertainment options not dependent on alcohol consumption
  • Emphasis on live music and live performance
    • A live music venue to replace the burnt down palace venue
    • Range of diverse smaller venues to offer a mix of innovative and funky styles, focus on nurturing new talent, music, performance, comedy, multi-media work.
    • Cabaret and circus
  • Small intimate drinking spaces - small bars and cafes, attracting new owner/operators. There are plenty of examples in the CBD to inspire the St Kilda triangle site
  • Cinemas specialising in art-house and major festivals + events
  • Free public events in public spaces
  • Informal, passive, incidental, contemplative, & recreational non-commercial entertainment options
  • Innovative kids play areas and activities for teenagers

Complementary role (as promised), not the principal purpose of the development

  • Some retail to support the cultural, entertainment and recreational focus of the site and its foreshore location: this is not the place for a supermarket, nor for large clothing, electrical, homewares and other consumer goods chain stores.
  • A commitment to small "business incubator" tenancies
    • emphasis on owner operated businesses - no franchises, no chains
    • emphasis on sub-cultural specialists, not mass marketers
  • Concentrate retail where needed to "activate" edges, eg along Jacka Blvd

An 'arts hotel' supporting arts and entertainment culture of precinct

  • A specialised 'arts hotel' catering to the Palais' back-of-house needs, and providing services, venues and facilities to support the arts and entertainment culture of the precinct
  • Hotel facilities (such as pool and roof deck) available to public, not exclusively to hotel guests
  • Broad tariff mix accommodating a range of guest profiles

Views and Landmarks
Maintain key views across the site

  • Key views across the site to iconic seascapes, landscapes and architectural heritage maintained.
  • The Upper Esplanade panorama over the St Kilda foreshore remains intact.
  • The profile of the Palais Theatre should remain visible from St Kilda Beach, St Kilda Pier, and the Foreshore generally, preserving its landmark status as a free-standing pavilion.
  • Viewlines to Luna Park and the Palais from the Upper Esplanade and nearby approaches preserved
  • Grassy slopes retained
  • A building of significant architectural merit as a proud added feature of the site, its purpose as a cultural destination of national significance mirrored in its design on the western side.

Public space
Provision of well used, accessible,  non-commercial spaces for passive /active public enjoyment

  • Abundance of public open spaces to challenge the imagination to engage in a range of non-commercial, non-paying, non-consuming activities.
  • Catering to all ages, including children and the elderly.
  • Comfortable and inviting seating, protected areas to escape traffic, wind, and searing summer sun, small and large meeting spaces, including open parkland for public events and exhibitions.
  • Imagination rather than easy commercial options are required for the site.
  • Public spaces separated from private eating and drinking spaces.

Meet the new challenge of climate change; air quality, reduce waste, water and energy conservation

  • Respect for environmental values should be a point of difference from other developments. This should be a best practice and leading edge cultural, commercial and environmental development
  • Benchmark energy & water consumption, waste generation and ensure proposal delivers major reductions
  • Ensure proposal delivers carbon neutrality

Traffic + Parking
Embrace alternative, less polluting modes
Minimize impact on surrounding areas
Meet parking needs on a precinct basis

  • Public transport should be the principal commuter mode of access to and from the site and the precinct
  • Provision of adequate parking and easy access to the site while protecting residential areas from the impact of huge traffic and car parking volumes especially at peak periods, and contributing to meeting the broader precinct parking needs





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