Jewish Arts Quarter
Predominantly located on Selwyn Street in Elsternwick, the proposed new Jewish Arts Quarter is a community project that will celebrate the deep cultural heritage of the Jewish community. The nine-storey cultural hub will deliver a performing arts centre, exhibition gallery, learning space and commercial office spaces.
Intertwined with arts and knowledge, JAQ, once completed, will be a cultural destination in Melbourne. With three distinct elements: the engaging street-level podium, the tower rising above, and the crowning peak, a balanced design dialogue is created between solidarity and openness, stability and progression. A united material palette of neutral glazing, warm cream-coloured brick and concrete, and tonal metallic embellishments create a balanced and considered material identity for the building.
The podium facade focused on creating a street presence along Selwyn Street. The design of the podium responds to both the local vernacular and the traditional ideals of the library as a place of gathered knowledge and community engagement. Like the pages of a book, the facade of the podium at street level undulates between a robust structure and fluid form. Inside, the podium accommodates the 170-seat performing arts centre, two-level art gallery and multi-functional learning spaces for classes and workshops. Above it, the level will open to landscaped terraces looking out into Selwyn Street and the cultural precinct below.
The tower will accommodate offices and shared spaces. Here, the design shifts into a simple, light and transparent expression. The glazing complements the tonal metallic gridded framework, serving as a design expression and sunshade for the building’s occupants.
A curved and expressed crown tops the tower, presenting a sculptural skyline reading for the building and unifying the overall design.