ACU has received Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) approval for construction of a new building at the Melbourne Campus.

Development of the new building will see the current ground level carpark at the corner of Napier Street and Victoria Parade transformed into a 12-storey and 20,000sqm teaching, learning and research space.

The development plan includes staged renovation and construction over the next 10 years. This includes two principal works:

  1. Transforming the current flat carpark at the corner of Napier Street and Victoria Parade to provide a 12-storey and 20,000sqm teaching, learning and research space with underground parking for a maximum of 270 vehicles and increased spaces for student collaboration and recreation.
  2. Replacing the existing Young Street carpark with open space and a new, triangular three-storey building.

The proposal will contribute to a pedestrian-focused campus hub, more open spaces, upgraded student amenities including green space, recreation facilities, and allow ACU to consolidate off-site teaching spaces to accommodate student, staff and research growth.

Subject to further approvals from Yarra City Council and the Heritage Council, construction is anticipated to commence mid-2018. Completion of the building is expected by March 2021.


An overview of the project – Planning for our future (PDF file, 796kB) 

The following fact sheets contain more detailed information about specific project aspects:

  1. Why ACU is planning for the future? (PDF file, 519kB)
  2. Project overview (PDF file, 1.1MB)
  3. Architecture to inspire young minds (PDF file, 952kB)
  4. Planning for traffic and parking needs (PDF file, 323kB)
  5. Protecting our heritage and history (PDF file, 725kB)
  6. Preserving our trees and increasing our open spaces (PDF, 1.3MB)
  7. Adapting to community feedback (PDF file, 339kB) 
  8. ACU's commitment to our communities (PDF file, 537kB)

ACU’s proposal has evolved substantially in response to community and stakeholder feedback. In particular, we have reduced building height and increased setbacks to the street, resulting in proposed buildings with a reduced visual mass. Visual explanations of these changes can be found in the Massing comparison set (PDF file, 4.4MB). 

Our full submission to Council can be viewed here or at the Yarra City Council website.

ACU aims to be consultative and transparent throughout the Melbourne Campus development process.

Find out more about the proposed plan, including:

The Vision aims to establish a long-term approach for the development of the Melbourne Campus.

The Vision outlines ACU’s:

  • required growth to accommodate future community education and research needs
  • aspiration to:
    • consolidate teaching and research activities
    • improve our teaching environment
    • create a high quality pedestrian and open space environment for students, staff and the community.


The Vision has been prepared by ACU in consultation with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

The Campus Vision will guide ACU's actions for accommodating future growth in education and research on the Melbourne Campus.


* Figures represent enrolments

ACU’s Melbourne Campus is strategically located on Victoria Parade, one of Melbourne’s most important entrance boulevards to the CBD.

Victoria Parade contains many sites that can accommodate significant growth. This includes our Melbourne Campus which is ideally located to accommodate growth given:

  • the relatively large lot size
  • the site’s location on a major civic boulevard
  • the orientation of the campus, which is to the south of the fine grain residential precincts in Fitzroy, meaning overshadowing from high scale development will be minimal
  • the size of the campus allows for higher scale development to be located on Victoria Parade frontage, with height transitioning down to the north to minimise the impact on the sensitive residential uses to the north of the campus.


Below are images of ACU Buildings in the local streetscape


Hard commercial edge along Victoria Street opposite ACU


Mixed use Victoria Street facade adjacent to ACU


Finer grain heritage protected built form joining ACU along Brunswick Street

FIGURE 1.1.1 Victoria Street, south view away from ACU


FIGURE 1.1.2 Victoria Street, north view towards ACU


FIGURE 1.1.3 Brunswick Street, view to the left of ACU


Ensuring new developments integrate with the campus surrounds is a key objective.

Responding to Victoria Parade through appropriate scale and mass.
Respond to the established and future character of the Victoria Parade Health and education Corridor as a higher density mixed use urban zone, the sites location on a major civic boulevard provides the opportunity to accommodate greater scale and height.


Improving the legibility of the campus as the north east entrance to the CBD, and through the development of well-designed larger buildings for visitors to the site. 
Higher buildings will orientate toward Victoria Parade to strengthen the presence of ACU as part of the important gateway to the central city. New well-designed buildings on Victoria Parade will improve the presentation of the campus when viewed from its surroundings.
Responding to the range of local scale and heritage character conditions to the north and east of the campus. 
The size and orientation of the campus provides the opportunity for higher scale development to be located on Victoria Parade frontage. The height will transition down to the north to reduce the impact of bulk on the sensitive residential uses to the north of the campus.
Improving access to public transport along Victoria Parade, Brunswick Street and Gertrude Street.
The development proposes improvements to the quality and safety of the public realm by improving the integration of pedestrian access and the surrounding local precinct. A priority is to improve safety and accessibility to public transport stops adjacent to the campus.
Ensuring pedestrian links from the campus integrate and form part of the wider pedestrian network.
The Melbourne campus will become a pedestrian oriented space that is safe for students and prioritises sustainable modes of transport. The campus will be developed to improve the quality of walking infrastructure and better integrate these pathways with the pedestrian routes adjacent to the campus.
Improving the provision and access to additional and upgraded open space for the community.
The campus vision will create a network of interlinked open spaces that serve different functions and offer flexible spaces for interaction and relaxation for both the university and local community. Green landscape elements will be incorporated throughout the campus where possible.


The campus design drivers reflect ACU’s vision to improve the quality and accessibility of the campus’s public realm and better integrate with its local environment.

The campus open space and pedestrian networks will be improved and expanded to better:

  • connect the campus to its local surroundings
  • increase access to open space in the South Fitzroy area
  • provide greater accessibility and a sense of safety for students, staff and visitors.

The planning and design principals have been developed in accordance with the City of Yarra’s commitment to reduce car dependence by promoting walking, cycling and public transport use, and improving the quality of walking and cycling infrastructure near the campus.

design_drivers_11. ACU is aspiring for a road closure or a shared zone along Young Street, which will create a pedestrian environment that contributes to public open space and amenity.
2. Two campus spines provide access for pedestrians and allows for improved public access.
design_drivers_3 3. A pedestrian focused campus provides a safer environment for students, and strengthens connections between campus buildings and the adjacent campus uses and activities.
design_drivers_44. A series of open spaces will increase public realm access and campus amenity.


5. A hierarchy of open spaces will serve a multitude of passive and active functions.
design_drivers_66. Establish campus hearts that work together as communal spaces that will service the various buildings within the campus.
7. An activated building edge on the ground level allows for a connection between the built form and open spaces.




The Melbourne Campus floor space is required to grow by 36,500m2 to accommodate the proposed development.


One objective of the campus development is to consolidate dispersed teaching spaces. A consolidated campus will:

  • provide new teaching and learning environments
  • improve campus amenity for students, staff and visitors
  • improve campus quality through the pedestrian and open space network, and better integrate it with the local surroundings
  • improve the presentation and interfaces of the campus
  • provide better outcomes for students and teachers by reducing travel times between sites
  • provide better outcomes for the local community.


The campus development aims to create an open and pedestrian focused campus.

A pedestrian focused campus provides a safer environment for students and strengthens connections between campus and its adjacent uses and activities.

Establishing campus hearts that work together as communal spaces will service the various buildings within the campus.

The campus green is both a public and campus zone, connecting the campus back to the wider community.


ACU are aspiring for a road closure or a shared zone along Young Street will create a pedestrian environment that contributes to public open space and amenity.


In the coming months ACU will submit a Development Plan to Council which will outline the proposed developments.

The proposed developments

New buildings are proposed on 115B Victoria Parade (on the corner of Napier Street) and 81-89 Victoria Parade (on the corner of Brunswick Street). ACU is also proposing to redevelop the Young Street car park which currently provides a very poor interface between the campus and South Fitzroy residents to the north of the campus.

Consultation and approval

Before development can occur, ACU are required to prepare a Development Plan for approval by the Yarra City Council.

Once the Development Plan is approved, detailed planning applications will be made to Council for individual projects. The planning process does not require further consultation if a proposed development is generally consistent with the approved plan.

81-89 Victoria Parade (on the corner of Brunswick Street) is not incorporated in the Development Plan and will be part of a separate planning permit application process. This will include a formal notification process.

Additional consultation will take place with community stakeholders and local residents as part of the Development Plan application process. This further consultation is anticipated to take place in 2016.

Next steps


January 2015 – Lodgement of the Development Plan with City of Yarra

Four weeks formal advertising of the Development Plan – letters sent to surrounding owners/occupiers and signs displayed on-site

Public information session held by Council

Review submissions from community and referral comments from internal Council departments and external authorities


Council officer consideration of the Development Plan and supporting recommendation

Formal consultation meeting with any objectors, held by Council

Officer recommendation report to Council – Internal Development Approval Committee (IDAC) Council meeting for decision

Contact us

We welcome your feedback.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the City of Yarra or email ACU.


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