Morris Moor

  • 2022

  • Architectural
    Place Design

Designed By:

  • Genton

Commissioned By:

Up Property

Designed In:


Morris Moor is a vibrant commercial and hospitality precinct created through the adaptive re-use of the former Phillip Morris cigarette factory site. The Urban Design strategy celebrates the historic warehouse buildings, while introducing porosity and soft landscaping to the ground plane creating an inviting precinct for working, making and leisure.

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Image: Peter Clarke
Image: Peter Clarke
Image: Peter Clarke
Image: Peter Clarke
Image: Peter Clarke
Image: Peter Clarke
Image: Peter Clarke
Image: Peter Clarke
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  • A key challenge of the brief was the level of transformation required for the change of use, from a historic purpose-built industrial facility designed to keep the public out, into a vibrant and welcoming new public precinct able to support a variety of uses and intended to become a new hub for the local community. Another challenge involved how to cohesively bring together the various warehouse buildings of different architectural eras and considering where to focus the proportionally constrained budget for the scale of the project.

  • The masterplan completely opens up the precinct, stripping away boundary fences and walls while creating new pedestrian links through the site intended to draw people inside. The precinct is designed around a vibrant and concentrated hospitality core, with other uses ¬– including offices, childcare, and maker-spaces – spilling out off the central core. Working with the proportionally constrained budget, the decision was made to retain the existing built form, stripping back ad-hoc additions while focussing design interventions in areas which would maximise value such as entry point, screens, and opportunities to reinterpret the building uses while celebrating their character.

  • In creating a welcoming and unique feeling precinct, the project strengthens the social fabric of the local community in Moorabbin, stitching together an otherwise harsh boundary between industrial and low-density residential neighbourhoods. In keeping the original buildings, a piece of local history is celebrated while also retaining the embodied carbon of the built form. The design also features native landscape elements throughout the over six-hectare site, nourished by rainwater re-use, softening the industrial nature of the precinct while supporting biodiversity.

  • The masterplan is conceived as a campus, with a series of green semi-public spaces distributed in between the existing buildings to tie together the built form which might otherwise seem unrelated. These semi-public green spaces enable commercial tenancies to spill outwards, while also inviting passers by to pause for a moment and enjoy the precinct without requiring a transaction. Supporting the cohesion of the interstitial spaces, bricks were recycled on site for re-use in the landscape as planter beds and seating.