OVGA business as usual in an unusual way

Friends and colleagues,

During this period of uncertainty and the need to manage COVID-19 the OVGA would like to advise that we are running our business as usual in an unusual way.

To ensure continuity of our work over the coming months, we have put the following measures in place:

  • We are refining our project engagement processes and methods to reduce face to face work.
  • Critical meetings will take place by phone, by skype (or equivalent) and through screen sharing.
  • Design review processes will be refined to accommodate remote input.
  • Our team will be contactable on their usual phone numbers diverted to mobiles and our email addresses will all be accessible.
  • Our team will not be undertaking interstate or overseas travel.

We will continue to monitor advice from Australian health authorities to ensure our team works safely and responsibly.

‘We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.’ - Kurt Vonnegut 

Future Homes Briefing session now online

The Future Homes design competition is now live and open to all Victorian Architects and building designers.

To assist design teams develop their entries, a briefing session will be held for all interested competitors. Due to a necessary reduction of gatherings, the event planned for Thursday 19 March in a central city location will no longer go ahead.

To ensure all competitors receive equal access to all competition information, the briefing session will be delivered through a pre-recorded online video. A link to the video will be provided to all competitors via the Ansarada data room on the morning of Friday 27 March 2020.

To ensure questions are answered and in line with the competition conditions, competitors are to log questions via the Q&A function in Ansarada. Questions must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 25 March 2020 to ensure a response can be delivered in the online video. Questions received after this date will be responded to via Ansarada.

Eligible Architects and building designers can continue to register interest to participate in the competition here.

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Cancellation of Geelong Design Week Event

Please note that due to the rapidly changing situation regarding COVID-19, the City of Greater Geelong has cancelled the Geelong Design Week. As a result, the OVGA event planned for 21st March will not proceed.

It is disappointing as we were looking forward to the discussions, however it is more important to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community.

We have reached out to everyone that had registered to inform them of the cancellation and hope to reschedule for a later date.

Thank you for your understanding.

Future Homes Competition

The Office of the Victorian Government Architect is partnering with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on the Future Homes project.

The project will produce better apartment designs that support the building of apartments that become world leaders in design, sustainability and liveability.

The project has 2 phases:
Competition Phase: A competition for Victorian architects and building designers to create plans and designs for apartment buildings. A student competition will also target up and coming leaders in design and architecture.

Planning Implementation Phase: Implementing the designs, including changes to the planning system, such as possible fast track planning processes. A demonstration project is also in the works.

Winners will be awarded a share of $500,000 and will have the opportunity to work with the State Government to inform planning reforms.

Registrations of Interest are now open and the Competition will launch on 12 March.

Further information and details of registration are available at the Future Homes website here.

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Future Homes at MPavilion

Melbourne is proudly Australia’s ‘most liveable city’ – but how can we best accommodate a doubling of the population without doubling the footprint of the city? Join the OVGA at MPavilion on 13 February for a lively discussion on how we can face Melbourne’s housing challenges.


Read more: Future Homes at MPavilion

Redeveloped State Library Victoria opens to the public

The OVGA celebrates the official reopening of the State Library Victoria on 5 December 2019 by Australian design studio Architectus and Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. The library represents the city’s enduring commitment to knowledge and creativity. The second and final stage of the $88.1m vision 2020 redevelopment renewed significant heritage spaces and created 40% more public space.

The OVGA assisted with the selection of the design team and gave advice during the early design development stages to ensure the protection of the architectural and cultural quality of Australia’s oldest and busiest public library. We congratulate the State Library Victoria and the architects from Architectus and Schmidt Hammer Lassen on their historically sensitive design and thoughtful reimagining of the role of the library in Melbourne’s future.

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Image above: Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, State Library Victoria, Photographer: Trevor Mein

Future Homes: Design Competition

The OVGA is partnering with DELWP to deliver ‘Future Homes’, a design competition for Victorian architects seeking fresh thinking about how we design and live in apartments. 

A prize pool of $500,000 will be awarded to exemplar apartment designs that can support better developments in Melbourne's suburbs. 

The competition will be launched in 2020. Further information is available on the dedicated webpage here.

The OVGA is partnering with DELWP to deliver ‘Future Homes’, a design competition for Victorian architects seeking fresh thinking about how we design and live in apartments.


A prize pool of $500,000 will be awarded to exemplar apartment designs that can support better developments in Melbourne's suburbs.


The competition will be launched in 2020. Further information is available on the dedicated webpage here:


The Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) were recognised at the Victorian Planning Institute Awards. The LXRP Urban Design Management Plan won the category ‘From Plan to Place’ and outlines an integrated and collaborative process to ensure urban design is embedded in the project lifecycle. The Office of Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) has contributed to the development of the management plan and provided ongoing input over the past 4 years to capture lessons learnt from earlier projects.

The LXRP was also awarded the Public Engagement and Community Planning category for the Caulfield to Dandenong Project. This high-profile project required extensive consultation with numerous stakeholders from early design stages through to implementation. The LXRP team collaborated with designers to unlock the benefits of elevating the rail to create new public space and improve connectivity for local communities.  The OVGA was an active member of the Community Open Space Expert Panel (COSEP) and advocated for high quality design outcomes.

The OVGA congratulates Lisa Dunlop, awarded Planner of the Year for 2019. Lisa is the Manager of Urban Design and Planning at LXRP and has been instrumental in the development of urban design frameworks and guidance documents. Lisa is a passionate and dedicated champion of urban design and actively promotes the value of high-quality design outcomes to create ‘Great Places’ for the community.

Read more information on the awards here

Corridor Carnival-7

Image above: Caulfield to Dandenong supplied by LXRP

Congratulations to the newest Life Fellows and Fellow recipients


Image above: Life Fellows and Fellow recipients at the Robin Boyd House

Congratulations to David Islip from our office and Rosemary Burne from our panel who were recently awarded the honour of Fellow from the Australian Institute of Architects. We also congratulate Shane Murray from the panel who was awarded a Life Fellow.

This year’s Life Fellows (LFRAIA) include: Simon Hanger, Suzanne Dance, Allen Kong, Shane Murray, Robert McBride and Clare Cousins.

This year’s Fellows (FRAIA) include: Rosemary Burne , David Islip and Stefan Mee.

Principles for Multi-Deck Commuter Car Parking

In order to contribute to the successful urban design of station precincts and activity centres, the OVGA has developed design principles for multi-deck commuter car parks as part of its continued advocacy for a high-quality legacy of city-shaping transport infrastructure. By adopting good design principles, multi-deck car parks can contribute to a well-connected, enjoyable and vibrant public realm.

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