The Forest Hive Performing Arts Centre


Conceptually the Forest Hive is imagined as two distinct objects, a robust elliptical drum forms an atrium and a light rectangular box houses the corporate meeting places, conference rooms and tourism hub. The two forms are joined by a living curtain that interacts with the surrounding grounds, drawing them into a third important space, the space between. The space between is a meeting place, a place that changes through the seasons and is an extension of the surrounding grounds. 

The proposal is to build a state-of-the-art Creative Arts, Business & Artisan Centre (the Forest Hive) that incorporates the Ridge Walk Project, and acts as a focal point for the creative arts, the local business and regional artisan sector and a major centre for tourism.  The build would also ensure that another community fire bunker could be created at Sassafras thereby supporting the community in time of need.


A focal point where state-wide creative industries, regional food, tourism and business can meet  


An outstanding architecturally-designed centre that can provide a platform for state-wide and international creative and performing arts, incorporating space for major tourism and business meetings, artisanal food and education facilities. 

Potential destination

Victoria is internationally recognised for the diversity and quality of its creative and performing arts sector, its innovative artisan food and wine industries and its outstanding landscape, national parks and tourism opportunities.  If developed, the Forest Hive will becomes a focal point to re-imagine these sectors through providing a significant location and opportunity to leverage brand and build the global reputation of the Victoria. From its location within the pristine environment of the Dandenong ranges and is connectivity to the Yarra Valley, the Forest Hive can provide opportunities for 

  • Creative and performing arts centre, arts focussed retreats & creative workshops, 
  • Education and community facilities, 
  • A range of food, environmental & tourism activities. 
  • A meeting place for business (regional, state-wide and international) 

The centre would also offer much needed opportunities of growth for the local business community and economy through bringing established city performance to the rural communities of the ridge-top towns.

Drawings of early concept. For indication only.

Drive new business

Our business community attests that despite considerable efforts by the State Government to promote the destination, our small businesses, eateries, and accommodation venues have been struggling for a considerable time. This is in part due to the limitation of ‘cultural content’ on offer to our Hills visitors to attract and engage for more than just a few hours. The Forest Hive would provide a focal point to drive growth, jobs and development of the region. It could also solve a considerable local problem in Sassafras in providing a parking solution for tourists. 

Social licence

The Forest Hive holds the potential to create positive outcomes for our entire small community as well as to create lasting positive experiences to local and international visitors. The approach to business would allow community free access to the centre.