Urban Metal

I recently posted about the new Hamer Hall in Melbourne and its ‘brise soleil’ and then continued to see metal work in all its interesting forms everywhere I went.

Closer to home the rejuvenation of Oakleigh’s central mall has not just been redesigned but re-crafted with the input of the local traders and Monash Council.

I am sure the urban redesign is worthy of an award with the street furniture being created by the council’s in-house urban design team (excellent job guys). All the individual seats, made of spotted gum and stainless steel, the rusted metal craft tree guards and metal art have so enhanced the lively cultural heart of Oakleigh.

The street planting is evocative of the mediterranean given Oakleigh’s strong and vibrant Greek community, with olive trees and bay trees interplanted with deciduous Ash and ornamental pear trees.

Rising to the new urban design challenge, a number of restaurants along the strip have been meticulously and imaginatively refurbished – Backbone particularly, with its cowhide seats and glassed in chiller viewer of hanging meat, leaves you in no doubt that this is not a place for the vegetarians of the world.

(Having said that we did enjoy a really tasty Asian style salad for lunch with the protein provided by nuts alone.)

Some information and the before shots of the mall are available at


Place Focus did the review for the development of the Eaton Mall site and have an interesting website about all the different things the young urban designers of the day would take into account before spending $2million of rate payers money etc.  http://www.placefocus.com/Welcome/fast-track.html

11 thoughts on “Urban Metal

    • Hi Dawn – you must let me know if you venture back to the ‘burbs sometime. It is looking very good and of course now it’s filled with folk there’s a great atmosphere back as well.


    • Hope you liked this – thanks for dropping by. The work is really impressive and I’m so pleased that it was all done by the local design team. Hope to find out a bit more about who made the items etc too.


  1. Even as urban living expands it is still possible to do it sympathetically. Good planning of this sort is scarce. Nicely captured. Good food is likely to become a much bigger issue in the future, possibly only surpassed by the need for clean water. You seem to live in a really nice community.


    • Hi Andrew – thanks for dropping by. It’s wonderful that this humble suburban strip has been so lovingly rendered by local designers just for local people to meet and eat together. It’s not some tourist attraction or ‘faux’ Greek quarter either, but a real ‘agora’. We’re totally spoilt here on the food front and I agree it’s going to become an increasingly challenging issue.


    • Thanks Lottie – How are you? I love the cook’s line in Gosford Park (which I could watch on continuous loop) when she says – about their American visitor – ‘Doesn’t eat meat? Well I never..’ Living in a Greek community is still just like that. Deliciously earthy.


      • Well, I have to apologise, as the reblog lasted only a few minutes! I checked the appearance on my site and found that WordPress had for some reason substituted your pictures with some of mine! As these were on a totally different subject I thought it best to ‘trash’ the reblog, but coudn’t then re re blog!! Sorry a bout that- I’ve still ‘liked’ your post so it can be accessed from my site on that basis.:)


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