The 1200 Buildings Commission is a pilot public art project responding to the energy and sustainability performance of a commercial building within the City of Melbourne – the Green Spaces at 490 Spencer Street in West Melbourne. The Green Spaces building was an early entrant in the City’s 1200 Buildings scheme, which aims to facilitate the energy retrofit of 1200 buildings within the municipality, making a significant contribution towards meeting the City of Melbourne’s target of carbon neutrality by 2020.

Carbon Arts worked closely with the City of Melbourne, Dave Collins of The Green Spaces, Guy Wilson of Fort Knox Self Storage to develop a public art commission. Eleven artists, designers and architects were selected from an open call to provide proposals for the space and share in the development of a new form of arts practice. This pilot project aims to leverage the efforts of signatories to the 1200 Buildings scheme by making these largely invisible efforts at greening buildings visible to the public, thereby engaging all Melbournians in the Eco-City vision.

An exhibition of all the proposals was held in Federation Sq in September 2011, some of which are pictured here. The winning proposal, The Green Transfer, is launching in early 2017.