Brunswick Mechanics Institute and Brunswick Town Hall - Forecourts improvement

Works now complete

We thank you for your support throughout the project and for your patience during the construction work.  Brunswick Mechanics Institute and Brunswick Town Hall Forecourts improvement works are now completed. 

Brunswick Mechanics Institute lawn.

Please enjoy the new landscape of the civic space while you are waiting for the tram or bus, meeting friends or simply walking by.  You are also very welcome to sit on the beautiful new ‘no-mow lawn’ (Diachondra repens) around the monument.  The new rain gardens were installed as part of the upgrade, which will clean the water they collect before it runs back into natural waterways.  Water from the rooftop of Brunswick Mechanics Institute building is used to water the planter beds along the wall.  At night, the recently installed feature lighting on the facade of the heritage Mechanics building will highlight this important corner of Brunswick.

The Brunswick Mechanics forecourt is also getting a fresh look from the mural created by local artist Buff Diss. His work draws inspiration from the landscape and topography of the local area. See the interview with the artist and glimpses of the new public space in the video below. The mural is also part of the SmartARt Merri-bek project and comes to life with augmented reality by using the ‘Eyejack’ app on your smartphone. For more information on SmartARt Merri-bek and other murals locations, click here: #SmartARtMoreland



Project background

Council carried out upgrade works for the Brunswick Mechanics Forecourt and Brunswick Town Hall Forecourt as an action from the Brunswick Structure Plan.

The project aims to to enhance the civic and cultural focus of the precinct, and to improve the public realm of these civic buildings.  The final concept design can be viewed here Final Concept Design (PDF 3Mb) (PDF 3Mb).  

The new design for the public space includes:

  • An outdoor civic space with reclaimed bluestone and timber seating
  • New timber decking
  • Improved lighting, including coloured lighting for the building's facade
  • Landscaping, including lawn and rain gardens to address the urban heat island effect
  • Footpath upgrade including feature paving and new kerb and channel
  • Additional seating near tram and bus stops 
  • Street furniture upgrade including drinking fountain 
  • Installation of bronze inlay artworks on the pavement
  • Mural art on the prominent wall of Retreat Hotel

Public consultation for the project was held in June 2018 and was closed on Friday 6 July 2018. The consultation included a survey and virtual reality information sessions. Participants were able to immerse in a virtual reality experience and see what the forecourts will look like. The information collected from the survey is available in this Community Engagement Summary (PDF 210Kb) (PDF 210Kb)


Major stages of the project

  • Consultation - complete
  • Design - complete
  • Tendering - complete
  • Construction - March to October 2019 (complete)


  • Budget for construction: $1.2 million
  • Budget for design: $70,000


More information

If you have any queries regarding the project, please contact Council’s Senior Urban Designer, Tri Setyani on 9240 2471 or email Tri Setyani.