Founded in Sydney in 1958 by Dutch immigrant and innovator Dick Dusseldorp, Lendlease was born out of a vision to create a company that could successfully combine the disciplines of construction, development and investment. Their vision: to ‘create places that leave a positive legacy with a focus on safety, innovation and sustainability.'
Over the last decade, Lendlease has been involved in the development of Victoria Harbour, the Western part of Melbourne's CBD where Collins and Bourke Street meet near the water. But whereas 5,000 more residents and 15,000 more workers are expected on site by 2025, some work remains to be done to instil a sense of community in this new neighbourhood.
Street Level was a RMIT School of Design, Master of Design, Innovation and Technology studio run by future ensemble in partnership with Lendlease.
Inspired by the award–winning Jan Gehl’s documentary The Human Scale, the recent public Art project Skyscraper by Brooklyn-based studio STUDIOKCA and the Barcelona Super–Block model, it explored the cultural dynamics that give an urban district its distinct identity.
The studio followed a Speculative Design approach to look at strategies for temporary or permanent activations of a street section. Speculative Design is not concerned to design products or places to be sent out into a slightly uncertain future but rather to imagine how that future might be entirely different. It proposes a kind of design that is used as a tool to create not only things but ideas.
The result is a series of interpretations and design concepts that help to illuminate social, environmental and aesthetic problems. Ultimately these studies could inform the design of an entire city block and streetscape at the western end of Collins Street.