Zaara Street in Newcastle's east end could look very different if innovative designs by third-year architecture students at the University of Newcastle ever came to fruition.
Students were asked to consider the neighbourhood's diverse demographics and history when designing a contemporary museum of art for a current car park site in the street.
Student designs include a building topped with an earth-covered podium and an elevated slug-like container for art. Another proposal resembling recycling from the old BHP site includes state-of-the-art lighting and high-grade materials.
Lecturer Dr Steven Fleming said there was a long history of students using Newcastle East to test global ideas about urban development.
"The project I set for the students reflects a global trend toward architecture that embraces questions of local identity, while aiming to garner controversy and international attention," Dr Fleming said.
Works are on display in the Romberg Building, Callaghan campus until Friday 16 October 2009.