Unusual & Unexpected Places to Play #2 – Heller Street Park and Common, Brunswick


Yes its another Victorian project, this time in inner city Melbourne. Fear not though, as I will be on the lookout for other project ideas from all over in future.

The work of Six Degrees Architecture, this project is an award winning, sustainable townhouse development in inner-city Brunswick. Conscious of the need to provide quality open space Moreland City Council stipulated that at least two-thirds of the surplus land used for this development was created into parkland.


Photo courtesy of Patrick Rodriguez

So its to this simple parkland that I turn. Key features are no fencing to create ‘commons space’ for residents and local community alike. The project uses the soil excavated for construction to create what is often referred to as the ‘only hill in Brunswick. This ‘hill’ is a grassed space surrounded by raised, sculptured berms with a central depression where on a sunny day you’ll find kids running, jumping and rolling off with great delight or neighbours sitting and sharing a picnic or just snoozing in the sunshine.

It’s not complex or over designed, rather it looks to all intents and purposes as if its always been there. Survellence is provided by views from above and the grassed berms separate the space from the traffic on the road adjacent.

The designers intent was to bring together the British idea of ‘the common’ and something of the suburban Australian ‘cul-de-sac’ back to the inner city and ‘pass-on’ memories of their own childhoods and neighbourhood street play to future generations.