Fortified City

The concrete blocks installed in Melbourne in 2017 were always intended as a short-term measure. Just as swiftly as they were installed, every single one of the 200+ blocks were creatively decorated under the Lord Mayor’s instruction to “do what you wish to beautify the ugly side of today’s reality”. Painted, planted, covered, and lego-cladded.

As the paint began to fade and the woolly coverings weathered and fell off in the rain, we couldn’t help but contemplate how these defensive mechanisms could be re-imagined into a more functional and aesthetically pleasing design response for the city. So therein lay the challenge: To design a new form of barrier/ bollard that offers something back to the public and enhances the function of these elements.

The winning entry, produced by Hayley Branston was unanimously chosen by a panel of judges from the City of Melbourne as “an innovative, exciting and unobtrusive solution that would slot well into Melbourne’s busy public spaces".