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Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

An Exhibition for Human Performance & Knowledge.

Located at Southbank, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is part of an AUD 1 billion integrated mixed-use development that includes the Hilton Hotel South Wharf, designed by Woods Bagot and NH Architecture

The triangular form of the building relates to its site, a key focal point for Melbourne’s urban axis that runs through the Central Business District, Docklands and the Yarra River.

At its core is the 5000-seat Plenary Hall, conceived as a building within a building. This fan-shaped auditorium can be divided into three separate stages and is clad in timber, reflecting the textural qualities of the location’s maritime history.

The main foyer is a focal point for public gathering, with a grand volume opening directly onto the Yarra River via a shimmering glass wall that exposes the activity and life of the centre.

In addition, a series of foyers, meeting rooms and a banquet hall were designed to reflect different aspects of Melbourne: civic spaces were inspired by the maritime precinct, hospitality spaces relate to Melbourne’s sport and culture, and functional spaces are neutral to reflect the Central Business District.

Process.

01

City within a city

At the very core of the Value Proposition is to design a building that evokes the human artistic spirit and reflects the city that it occupies, both from an urban and interior perspective. The aspiration was to elevate the status of the convention centre as a pivotal piece of architecture that celebrates the congregation of great minds around specific facets of human endeavour. Whilst the virtual world of the internet is a dominating force the assembly of human social interaction is a counterbalance and an art form in itself. Indirectly the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is a museum of human interface, located at a fulcrum in the City of Melbourne, adjoining the Yarra River and next to both the newly emerging Docklands and Central Business District. The Convention Centre is a city within a city - formally a triangular shaped derived from these axial connections and fused to a square shaped object that contains the regular shaped Banquet Hall.

This composition contains the pivotal elements of Plenary Hall, Ballroom, Hotel and circumferential foyer. Delegates occupy these varying spaces during the course of a day as people would use a city. Subsequently an overlay of operational modes including civic, hospitality and functional were overlaid to the main spaces. Each of the modes were designated with a relevance back to the context of Melbourne. The civic spaces were inspired by the adjoining Maritime precinct, the hospitality nature of the building lent inspiration for Melbourne’s art and sports cultural activities and the functional aspects of meeting rooms were neutral references to the Central Business District.

These aspects charged the interior of the building indirectly with the spirit of Melbourne. A building that emanated from the essence of Melbourne. Our aim was to ensure the delegates had a real experience of Melbourne without even leaving the building itself.

Details.

Client

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Address

Melbourne, Australia

Area

66,000

Status

Built

Completion Date

2009

Leadership Team

Nik Karalis, Rodger Dalling, Ivan Kokrhelj, Peter Korkolis, Gordana Ticak, Bruno Mendes


Sustainability

6 Star Green Star


Awards

Interior Design Excellence Awards

  • Institutional winner
  • Highly commended, sustainable project

Australian Institute of Architects Awards

  • National Award for Public Architecture
  • Victorian Architecture Medal
  • William Wardell Award for Public Architecture
  • Sustainable Architecture Award
  • Steel Architecture Award
  • Melbourne Prize

Australian Construction Achievement Award (ACAA)

Interior Design Awards Australia

  • Best of State, Commercial Design
  • Public Design

Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA)

  • National Environmental Excellence Award
  • Victorian Environmental Excellence Award

Australian Property Institute

  • President’s Award

Australian Property Institute Excellence in Property Awards Investa Environmental Development Award

BPN Sustainability Award 

Overall Winner

Banksia Award for Built Environment

IMEX Green Supplier Awards

  • Gold Award
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