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Editions

Utopian dream for Docklands

31 Jul 2012

Utopian dream for Docklands Image

Docklands is getting some temporary “activation” of Harbour Esplanade this month when work begins on the Glass House.

The Glass House is a creative concept with elements of architecture, food and sustainable living.  It will sit in the area between the old tram tracks and the Cow up a Tree sculpture.

It is the brainchild of Melissa Loughnan and Christie Petsinis who devised the concept over a random conversation and were totally surprised when their idea beat a strong field of contenders vying for a Places Victoria tender.

According to Ms Loughnan, the Glass House aims to draw a new, youthful arts-focused demographic to Docklands.  She said local food retailers should expect their patronage to increase as more people were attracted to the area.

Ms Loughnan runs an art gallery in the CBD and part of her motivation behind the idea was to get more exposure for emerging artists.  Ms Petsisis, on the other hand, has an architectural bent and portrays the unique glass structure as a unique feature of Docklands.  They are calling themselves Utopian Folk for the project.

Coupled with this, is an internal garden by artist Lauren Berkowitz where food will be grown, harvested and served up in a cafe run by an external contractor.

When launching the Docklands Community and Place Plan last month, Planning Minister Matthew Guy said: “During extensive consultation the community told us how important it is for the community to have places to meet and interact. The Glass House combines the community’s desire for more intimate spaces with Melburnians’ love affair with food and cooking.”

The Glass House is expected to open in September. It is planned to include food vans and landscaped areas designed to cultivate a backyard feel.

Planned as a temporary structure for at least 12 months, the Glass House could continue on indefinitely until permanent plans for Harbour Esplanade are determined.

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