Whether it's converting historically-important buildings for use as future-ready training facilities or constructing a new, state-of-the-art conservatorium for musicians, the University of Melbourne's Southbank campus is undergoing a major renewal program which will see Conservatorium staff and students co-located with their colleagues and peers at the Victorian College of the Arts at the heart of the Melbourne Arts Precinct.


The Melbourne Arts Precinct Blueprint and the City of Melbourne’s plan for Southbank is a bold new vision for Melbourne’s Southbank. Already home to more than 20 arts institutions and organisations, the plan will see the precinct better linked for pedestrians and more connected to the vibrant energy of Melbourne’s CBD.The Southbank campus redevelopment plays a big part in bringing the blueprint vision to life. The University of Melbourne has been involved in the blueprint’s development since its inception by the City of Melbourne in 2011.

render image of new Ian Potter Southbank Centre and adjoining linear park

The new Ian Potter Southbank Centre and adjoining linear park, which will connect the campus with the wider Melbourne Arts Precinct. Image render courtesy of John Wardle Architects.

The development of the new Ian Potter Southbank Centre, Dodds Street Police Stables redevelopment, the new Buxton Contemporary, public access and other improvements will make a significant contribution to the precinct.

With a new linear park through the campus, a publicly-accessible walkway through the Dodds Street Police Stables, pedestrian paths and a new open plaza at the entrance to the Ian Potter Southbank Centre, the campus will be opened up for everyone to wander through, look, learn and enjoy.

Being in the precinct will enrich the student experience by placing students at the centre of the arts in Melbourne.

Other partners include the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and precinct arts institutions.

Our neighbours in Melbourne’s Arts Precinct include the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Theatre Company, Melbourne Recital Centre, Australian Ballet, Opera Australia, Chunky Move, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and Arts Centre Victoria.

Development Projects

Our Campus in the 21st Century

Our Campus in the 21st century (OC21) was developed by the University community in a series of workshops that explored the qualities wanted across all campuses and precincts. It is the formal response to the University of Melbourne’s strategic plan Growing Esteem and is integral to how the University will plan for the future, and to developing high-quality campus-based experiences for diverse communities.

The Southbank Campus Redevelopment will support our campus in the 21st century through the following:


The occupation of the Old Police Stables will continue the tradition of artists appropriating buildings to use and cater to the 20% student growth from 2010-2020 at the school.

Early works on the refurbishment of the Old Police Stables will begin June 2016 with construction concluding in April 2017, providing new art studios, exhibition spaces and office accommodation for the School of Art and a flexible performance area for general use.


The new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music alongside the Victorian College of the Arts will also stimulate collaboration across the artistic disciplines as music students engage with students studying film, television, visual and performing arts.

The developments will further synergise the University with its creative partners, helping achieve the city’s vision for a thriving arts scene and to create a new dynamic environment for music education.