Creative Spaces: Guild – a new approach to developing space for the arts

CoM Creative Spaces GuildA new development that will transform over 1000m2 of vacant retail space into a collection of arts spaces in the Melbourne Arts Precinct is set to launch in February.

Situated on the ground floor of a residential tower at 152 Sturt Street, Southbank, Creative Spaces: Guild will demonstrate how existing infrastructure can be repurposed to meet demand for smaller arts spaces in a neighbourhood defined by major arts venues.

Chair of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Portfolio Councillor Rohan Leppert said the provision of working spaces for artists was critical to ensuring they continue to create and work in the city.

“As a leading creative city, Melbourne’s identity is intrinsically connected to and defined by our creative sector,” said Councillor Leppert. “Creative Spaces: Guild is leading the way by transforming this vacant retail space into smaller and more affordable work spaces that will suit a diverse range of artists and arts organisations.”

Creative Spaces: Guild will offer: a co-working space for independent theatre producers and creatives;  a rehearsal space for hire;  a curated public gallery that links Sturt and Moore Streets; a new café; offices and a boardroom. This project marks an innovative response to the challenges facing arts organisations, with local and state government partnering to deliver infrastructure for the arts in new ways, responding to community and creative sector demand.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said access to affordable inner city space was one of the key concerns raised by artists and independent arts organisations.

“This innovative partnership addresses one of the major issues facing our small to medium arts sector, access to affordable space, while at the same time bringing a new creative energy to Melbourne’s arts precinct,” said Minister Foley. “It’s an example of the fresh collaborative approach we are taking to strengthening Victoria’s reputation as a creative state and a place where artists can thrive.”

The National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and Melbourne Fringe will make Creative Spaces: Guild their new Melbourne base bringing their strong reputation and significant contribution to the neighbourhood. Award-winning architecture practice, Archier, is the project architect responsible for the design and fitout of the co-working studio and Melbourne Fringe office.  The café will be designed by Aktis.

A program of the City of Melbourne Arts Melbourne branch, Creative Spaces refurbishes buildings in partnership with government, philanthropic, private sector and educational institutions to provide affordable space for the arts. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Creative Spaces: Guild (supplied)