University Square Diagram

Design Principle Diagrams


The site boundary has been extended to include the surrounding street and to create a direct connection to Lincoln Square. Previously roads and traffic confined the site. The position of the trees created barriers to exclude the street.

Breaking Boundaries


The University of Melbourne has strategically purchased much of the real-estate surrounding University Square. This has inhibited diverse uses in the area.
The university will catalyse the revitalisation of the area by offering tenancies for artist studios, galleries and community spaces and promote small and creative enterprises to move into the Pelham Street precinct.

Catalyst for Change


Key points of activation include:

  • Gabion Stage – with large outdoor digital screens for public performance, media art and public film screenings
  • Town Square – a space for public gatherings, markets and performances
  • Pelham Block – with artist studios, gallery and community spaces, and cafes and creative enterprise.

Points of Activation


Universal Square will be the heart of a pedestrian friendly precinct. Surrounding streets to the east, south and west will close to car traffic. Grattan street will narrow to a single lane with a textured paving to indicate a pedestrian priority zone.
Closed to car traffic, peripheral pathways provide opportunities for public gathering spaces as well as cycle and pedestrian thoroughfare.


Universal Square will become irrigation water self-sufficient through the installation of a large subsurface rainwater tank fed by three water harvesting rain gardens that will span the width of the site.
A staged succession of the current elm trees should be planned. A diversification of plant species will further increase the ecological value of the area.