Melbourne Business School Unveils Plans For $250 Million Innovation Precinct

Top-ranked Melbourne Business School has announced plans to spend up to $250 million on a new precinct that will provide MBA students with some of the most advanced learning environments in the country.

The new building would be located at 168-176 Leicester Street, Carlton, adjacent to the current Melbourne Business School campus at 200 Leicester Street. Once completed, it would become the new address for the School as well as related activities in graduate business and economics education at the University of Melbourne.

The project is still in the early planning stages and subject to planning approvals could commence discussion in late 2021.

Melbourne Business School Strategic Projects Director Celeste Perfect said the school was looking for industry and education partners to share space in the 12-storey building.

“The proposed building would be a significant investment, with early construction estimates at about $150 million and a further $100 million of associated project and fit-out costs,” she said.

The proposed campus is designed to keep the School at the forefront of business education globally, while also encouraging collaboration at a local level. The site is located within three overlapping knowledge precincts:

  • The University of Melbourne’s Grattan South precinct
  • The City of Melbourne’s City North Innovation District
  • The Victorian Government’s Parkville National Employment and Innovation Cluster

A proposal and concept design for the new building has been developed by global architecture firm Woods Bagot with a focus on collaboration and sustainability. The proposal is for a 6 Green Star building with multipurpose spaces that create a hub for teaching, research, socialising and work.

A pioneer in Australian business education since introducing the country’s first MBA degree in 1963, Melbourne Business School makes significant contributions to the city’s reputation for teaching and learning excellence by producing about 500 degree graduates and attracting more than 3000 professionals on short courses each year – many of whom travel from interstate and overseas.

Melbourne Business School Innovation District

“The area around Melbourne Business School has been earmarked as an emerging innovation district, and we hope to play a key role in bringing that to life,” said Professor Ian Harper, Dean of Melbourne Business School.

“We are currently speaking to residents and nearby businesses about our proposal to build a new campus adjacent to the existing building on Leicester Street, where we have operated for more than 30 years.

“Our vision is that the new building will become a central location that strengthens relationships between local and international leaders, thinkers, their organisations and communities.”

Woods Bagot’s education leader in Australia, Sarah Ball, said that as a knowledge provider and educator, Melbourne Business School was perfectly placed to transform and grow leaders and businesses into the future.

“The building we’ve designed will serve as a catalyst for diversifying what the school does and who they are doing it with,” said Ms Ball.

“As a single address for graduate business and economics education, it’s also a home where business, community and academic leaders can collaborate on questions that matter.”

Leading the design is Woods Bagot principal and design leader Bruno Mendes, whose team took inspiration from the surrounding suburb’s rich history and character defined by gardens, laneways and distinctive architecture.

“It’s a design that celebrates both the local area and the energy within the school. The characteristic elements of Carlton inform the stacked layers of the building, where each urban condition relates to the required program for the new business school,” Mr Mendes said.

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (