Lyons <em>Dandenong Municipal Building and Civic Square, Lonsdale Street </em>2014. Courtesy of the architects<br/>
© Lyons. Photo: Peter Bennetts


(est. 1996, Melbourne)

Lyons is an architectural and urban design practice founded in 1996 and currently led by its six directors, Corbett Lyon, Carey Lyon, Neil Appleton, Adrian Stanic, James Wilson and Hari Pliambas. Lyons designs cultural, commercial and residential projects that are responsive to – and expressive of – a contemporary experience of local and global culture.

Located in the heart of Dandenong on Bunurong Country, the Dandenong Municipal Building and Civic Square includes a public square and multi-level building incorporating council chambers, a regional library, council administration offices, future growth areas for council offices, car parking and retail. Lyons’s design was developed in the context of the Victorian State Government’s Revitalising Central Dandenong program, aimed at reactivating and developing the centre of the city of Dandenong. In particular, the project set out to integrate public open space and to become a hub for the local community.

The square, known as Harmony Square, is designed to host a range of uses, from major events to everyday individual experiences. The urban design component was undertaken as a collaboration with Rush Wright landscape architects and Material Thinking (Professor Paul Carter), who together with Lyons developed the thematics for the design, which draws on the site’s history and its diverse local community of people from 156 birthplace nations.

The project was completed in 2014 and comprises a diverse set of buildings and public spaces, from Council offices and a retail building to the community library and meeting spaces. Its success is evidenced by the way it activated a new urban heart for the City of Greater Dandenong and by the fourfold increase in visitation to the central library since its opening.

The Dandenong Municipal Building and Civic Square was the winner of the 2015 Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) Victorian Chapter Award for New Public Architecture, the 2015 Planning Institute of Australia’s Great Place Award, and received a commendation for the 2015 Planning Institute of Australia’s Urban Design Large Scale Award.

Lyons has received numerous prizes for its work, including the 2022 Queensland Medallion and the 2002 and 2018 Victorian Architecture Medal. The practice was also selected to represent Australia at the Australian National Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2000, 2008 and 2014.