Circus Oz relocation to former Collingwood TAFE site

In January 2012, Council's planning department approved a permit application  from Arts Victoria for Circus Oz to make its new home in Collingwood.

Part of the former TAFE at 35 Johnston Street (near the corner of Johnston and Wellington streets) will be used and developed as a training and performance space for Circus Oz. An internationally-renowned, all human, contemporary circus, Circus Oz has outgrown its current accommodation in Port Melbourne.  

More information about the project can be found on the Arts Victoria's website here.


Please find below a summary of Arts Victoria's permit application.

You may view the application and supporting documents here:

pdf format Permit Application (2.14MB) 

pdf format Town Planning Submission (part one) (1.51MB)
pdf format Town Planning Submission (part two) (2.18MB)

pdf format Heritage Impact Assessment (part one) (2.71MB)
pdf format Heritage Impact Assessment (appendices) (508.00kB)

pdf format Traffic & Transport Assessment (2.44MB)

pdf format Acoustic Assessment (430.71kB)

Summary of the application

Built form

  • The central sections of Block D and parts of the eastern section of walls and gates of Block F would be demolished.
  • Block C and the retained section of Block D would be refurbished to accommodate: set design space, prop space, a loading dock, lighting, physio/massage, programming, marketing, rigging, equipment, plant, storage, band room, costumes, meeting space, production office, staff rooms and general administration, amenities, lobby and an entrance from Perry Street.
  • Space between Block C and D would be enclosed for use as a “Green Room”, a double height space providing a main pedestrian connection through the site and connecting Block C and the new, central building.
  • A new central building (replacing the demolished section of Block D) would be constructued to accommodate two new large rehearsal areas located behind the existing, vacant Johnston Street building.
  • These new central buildings would range in height from 13.2 metres (northern most rehearsal space) to 16.6 metres (central rehearsal space). These buildings would not generally be seen from Johnston Street but would be able to be glimpsed from Perry Street.
  • The Spiegeltent would be positioned directly east of Block C, centrally between Johnston and Perry Streets within the existing bitumen/concrete car parking area. The Spiegeltent has a diameter of 17 metres and a height of seven metres.

Proposed Use

General staffing
*Staff would be on site from 9am-9pm (Monday-Friday), and from 10am-5pm (Saturday and Sunday)
*A maximum of 50 staff members could be on site at any one time.

Performances, festivals and sponsor events

*Performances, festivals and sponsor events could occur up to a maximum of 25 weeks per year.
*The latest finish time would be midnight.
*Private functions and sponsor events would occur once per month
*A maximum of 250 people could be on site for these performances and events at any one time.
*These events would include catering and liquor license (licensed area to include “Green Room” and entry lobby area in front of the new rehearsal room)


*Events associated with the Spiegeltent could occur from 10am-9pm (Monday-Wednesday) and 1pm-midnight (Thursday-Sunday)


*Rehearsals could occur from 10am-6pm (Monday-Friday),
*Reharsals could occur on between 12-20 weeks per year
*A maximum of 100 people, including performers, trainers and audience members, could attend rehearsals at any one time. 

Public classes and events

*Fitness classes could occur between 8am-10am (weekdays), between 4pm-9pm (weeknights) and between 9am-5pm, Saturdays.
*Sunday children's classes could occur between 9am-5pm.
*During school holidays, fitness classes could be held between 10am-6pm (Monday-Friday)
*A maximum of 108 people could be on site attending public classes and events at any one time.

Parking & Access

  • The main vehicle access into the site would be via the existing Johnston Street crossover which would need to be slightly widened.
  • Twelve on-site car parking spaces for Circus Oz use would be created east of Block C, next to the Neighbourhood Justice Centre, at the rear of the site.
  • Nine on-site car parking spaces would be provided for the remainder of the site, located to the east and west of the Johnston Street entrance.
  • Forty on-site bicycle parking spaces would be provided in the new forecourt in front of the new rehearsal building.
  • A new pedestrian entrance would be created off Perry Street, with pedestrian access also provided off Johnston Street.
  • On-site loading facilities would be provided at the rear of the site, behind the Spiegeltent.
  • A waste storage area is proposed to be located at the rear of the Spiegeltent, in the car park, with private waste collection services to be organised.

Landscaping and materials

  • A new paved courtyard would be created at the front of the new rehearsal space, with pedestrian access to be available from Johnston Street during opening hours.
  • Several  larger, mature Australian Native Trees to the north of the new paved courtyard would be retained, with bench seating to be provided.
  • Some native vegetation (planted for landscaping purposes) adjacent to Block D would be removed.
  • Some repairs would need to be undertaken to glazing, brickwork and roofing,  with additional sections of basic, natural coloured render along the eastern elevation of Block C and the western elevation of retained section of Block D.
  • The new building will comprise Colourbond metal cladding (light grey/dark grey) alternating between a flat and satinline vertical finish for effect.
  • The “Green Room” would include extensive glazing and appear as a connecting atrium.


  • Circus Oz business identification signage would be flush mounted along the eastern facade of the new building, with a blade sign to be installed along the southern elevation near the Perry Street entrance.
  • Both signs would be spot lit.

Keith Haring Mural

  • No works are proposed to the Keith Haring Mural as part of this planning permit application. Heritage Victoria approval is required for any works to the mural, including restoration and/or protective works.
    More information about the Haring mural's preservation plan can be found on Arts Victoria's website here

Further information
Laura Condon
Statutory Planner
9205 5373


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