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Old Made New
South Eveleigh by Mirvac
For over 100 years the former railway workshops in Eveleigh were a centre of industry driving Australia’s progress as a nation. Although many of the structures do not exist in their original state, the workshops are home to one of the largest and most unique collection of Victorian blacksmith machinery in the world.
The workshops were not only the place where locomotives and rail stock were manufactured, they also played a role in the making of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Just as important was their role in the Australian Union Movement; helping to achieve important milestones such as the 40-hour working week. Numerous politicians and even former Prime Minister Ben Chifley and Premier Joe Cahill are part of its significant history.
Just 10 minutes from our Redfern studio, we were especially excited to work with Mirvac on the rebranding of this important site as it entered the next stage of its story.
With such an iconic place, understanding the views of future users and stakeholders was central to our process.
This included talking to local indigenous representatives, businesses, residents, and the existing Cicada Innovation Hub on site. We also spent time researching the rich stories of the site from indigenous times through to its days as a railway workshop.
During this discovery period it became clear that the brand needed to create an ongoing story – from indigenous times through to today.
Because the site is often seen through a heritage lens, few people realise it has always been at the forefront of industry and manufacturing, where some of the world’s most advanced machinery and pioneering innovation breakthroughs occurred.
It is therefore fitting that the site’s new use is focused on FinTech, with Commonwealth Bank moving into the site as the anchor tenant, as well as cutting-edge innovation focused on co-locating leading businesses with small start-ups and universities.
This led us to the brand idea of ‘The New Industry’ – celebrating the pioneering story of the site as well as its role in driving changes that will create the next advances in jobs and innovation.
The South Eveleigh identity is inspired equally by the site’s heritage and technological future.
The mark is comprised of a number of elements: Rivets / Pixels for example, reference the history of making, and the way things were brought together, and coming together in collaboration to create a bigger picture. The staccato sawtooth pattern is a great visual cue to the site’s history, while also providing a nod to the FinTech future and digital connectivity of the site. A track block is a reference to interconnection, moving forward and being open to the community for a wide range of immersive experiences.
These are also used as a dynamic graphic language of patterns and icons, applied with vibrant colour to create the right level of energy fit for a place that has always and will continue to stand for industrious innovation.
The railway yards laid the foundations of inner Sydney, providing a vital centre of employment and community. However, its conversion into a business park in 1995 had not maintained this sense of spirit and connectivity.
Key to the strategy for revitalising the site was reconnecting to nearby areas and making the local community feel welcome.
As well as the new commercial uses for the site, the historic Locomotive Workshop was being brought back to life with places to shop and dine, not unlike Mirvac’s success with ‘The Tramsheds’ project in Harold Park.
Through consultation and the emerging plans to make the site a welcoming place for all, it was clear that the existing name ‘Australian Technology Park’ wasn’t the right fit moving forward.
We recommended reinstating the site’s original name – South Eveleigh. In fact, the expansive site makes up almost the entirety of South Eveleigh itself, and so without keeping this name in use, it is likely it would have disappeared over time.
Mirvac National Marketing Manager, Office & Industrial, Lisa Taylor says: “In reinstating the Eveleigh name we are recognising the significance of the original Eveleigh workshops that provided opportunity to past indigenous generations and ensuring that they feel a part of its future. It’s also a name that breaks down the idea of this being a siloed commercial campus and instead invites the community in, be it to work, shop or play.”
“South Eveleigh will be a dynamic and welcoming place for all.”
MIRVAC National Marketing Manager