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Architect: City of Melbourne

City of Melbourne | C02

Housed in a distinct, free-standing red brick building in the heart of the city by the Yarra River, ArtPlay once was the Jolimont Lecture Hall and a training centre for train drivers from the 1920s to the 1980s. In 1999, as part of the City of Melbourne’s development plan of Birrarung Marr, the hall was repurposed as an arts facility for children. In 2004, ArtPlay opened its bright orange doors. Surrounding the ArtPlay building is the Common Ground Commemorative Public Art project, completed in 2006, which is a celebration of the site’s original purpose as a traditional campsite and meeting place. It features artwork by Aboriginal artists Lee Darroch, Treahna Hamm, and Vicki Couzens. ArtPlay’s program for children and families aims to be challenging, creative and meaningful. By working with professional artists, children can explore their own creativity and self-expression, and share unique artistic experiences. Workshops, performances, and exhibitions are held throughout the year.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 3 & Thursday 1 January 10am - 4pm

  • Photography Restricted: Yes

  • What's Open: The Mezzanine

  • Tour Type: C02

  • Access: Pram accessible, Fully accessible

  • Building Type: Workplace

  • Facilities: Toilets

  • Special Programming: Family Activity Ping Pong WoW. The Ball Room artists believe play to be an essential ingredient in all creative acts, hence their slogan, in play we make art. Ping Pong WoW is their signature participatory work revealing endless manifestations of play. This experience has been designed to captivate both children and adults alike and is suitable for ages: 3-8. Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am – 12.30pm (last entry 12pm) and 2pm – 4pm (last entry 3.30pm)

  • Year Built: 1999

  • Transport: Stop 13: Filnders St Station on routes 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 and 72

  • Photo Credit: Christine Francis, Julieanne Perara, Nicole Cleary


Birarrung Marr, behind Federation Square, Melbourne 3000, VIC


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