To ensure our much loved and renowned strip continues to thrive, we have been offering a range of underutilised spaces on Oxford Street to artists and creative practitioners.

In 2011, we invited artists, creatives and community organisations to submit Expressions of Interest for occupation of a number of City-owned office and retail spaces on lower Oxford Street. We received an overwhelming response and following a competitive selection process, 18 office and retail spaces have been activated with a mix of commercial and non-profit creative organisations working in design, film, contemporary music, transmedia, screen writing and more.

The transformation has been swift. Designers, architects, contemporary performers, animators, online video producers, architects, artists, their staff and customers are breathing new life into the precinct. We’ve even had a brand new ABC2 TV news satire from The Chaser comedian Charles Firth filmed and produced entirely in one of the spaces.

But this is only part of the story! We are now working to develop the business mix principles for the area and working with private property owners in Oxford Street and other precincts to help activate their underutilised spaces.

Oxford Street tenants

Our happy tenants include The Fortynine Studio, SCALE Architecture, Queer Screen, Sydney Guild, Dr Egg New Media Production Group, Homework, EngineRoom, Rouse Phillips, PROVINCE, Envelop Entertainment, He Made She Made, Platform72, Under New Management, Tractor Studio, A.R.P. Artist’s Residency Program and Video Kills.

Dr Egg

Key successes

The spaces include galleries, artist studios and start-up creative enterprises – specialising in everything from textiles to mobile app development – some have won major national awards, while others have given tens of thousands of people a new reason to visit this vibrant precinct.

  • Platform72 – this gallery and retail space has represented more than 300 artists (at least half from Sydney) and sold $230,000 worth of artworks, with 100%of sales being returned to the artists. They have also sold local artworks to buyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and South Africa, and been featured in the window of the flagship Sydney store of global luxury retailer Hermès.
  • EngineRoom – this digital co-working community has provided office space for more than 30 start-up businesses, with members winning four major prizes at the 2012 Australian Mobile Awards, securing a contract to provide online ticketing for Openair Cinemas across Australia, and building an online travel insurance program for Woolworths.
  • Social enterprise tenant Around You graduated from the program in 2012 having rapidly outgrown their office space. The team moved their financially viable business to a new 300sqm commercial premises in the CBD to further develop and where they continue to flourish.
  • He Made She Made – this gallery and workshop space has welcomed more than 12,000 people to nine successful exhibitions, featuring more than 200 artists and designers. The founders have also been invited to participate in Design Dubai 2014, an exclusive annual fair showcasing limited edition furniture and design objects from across Asia and the Middle East.
  • SCALE Architecture – this local architectural practice was shortlisted for their proposed design for the new National Museum of Afghanistan.
  • The Fortynine Studio – this design collective of five, which has created numerous projects in the space including a commission to create a series of ceramic vessels for Bill Granger’s cookbook, Easy, and a      collaboration with Laos-based weaving workshop Eastern Weft to produce textile designs for small-scale production.
  • A.R.P. Artists Residency Program –this studio space hosts 6-month studio residencies for emerging and established contemporary visual artists. Artists that have deleoped their creative proceses in the studiosinclude Tonee Messiah, Margarita Sampson, Annie Laerksen, Eva Millares and Seattle-based sculptor Arun Sharma, whose Oxford Street work has been selected for inclusion at Sculpture by the Sea 2013 in Aarhus, Denmark.