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Elana Castle discovers a charitable initiative that is also an up-cycled design triumph in the heart of Melbourne Central.

Streat is a not-for-profit enterprise which provides homeless and disengaged youth with the skills to develop and sustain careers in the hospitality industry. Spearheaded by CEO Rebecca Scott, the organisation recently opened a freestanding cafe on the ground level concourse of Melbourne Central.

A successful Pozible campaign – the proceeds of which were matched dollar for dollar by The GPT Group of Melbourne Central – plus generous time and resource contributions from Six Degrees Architects, McCorkell Constructions Eymac Stainless and Online Upholstery, have resulted in a distinctive and enduring installation.

“We were asked to create a flexible and economical structure with a strong visual presence,” explains Simon O’Brien, director at Six Degrees Architects. “Rebecca (Scott) also wanted to play with concept of ‘street’ reflecting Streat’s mission.”

Given the tight budget and Streat’s request for a minimal environmental footprint, Six Degrees employed Trueform beams as the primary external material, using them in varying forms to dress the four-sided, black form-plybase. However, the bulk of the structure was built off-site, including the painstakingly-designed stainless steel interior, which satisfied all the complex requirements for storage and operation.

Suspended Trueform beams were also used to fashion the cafe seating elements as well the suspended horizontal lighting “We often use materials re-purposed from another industry,” adds O’Brien. “They come with their own history, adding layers of interest to the design.” In this case they have painted alternating ends of the Trueform beams (many of them reclaimed) black and blue, referencing the manner in which they would be systematically sorted on a building site.


Six Degrees Architects


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