“Dramatic, creative and authentic” – Adelaide Convention Centre opens

The Woods Bagot-designed expansion has transformed Adelaide’s skyline with two new buildings, boosting the centre’s footprint to 20,000 square metres of multi-purpose space.

Delivered in two stages, the Adelaide Convention Centre’s $397 million redevelopment includes the addition of a new West Building and East Building on either side of the venue’s existing Central Building, also designed by Woods Bagot in 2001. Each building has been designed to operate as a standalone facility with its own dedicated entrance. They can also be combined to function as one dynamic venue.

Adjacent to business, cultural, medical research and entertainment precincts, the location of the Centre showcases Adelaide’s iconic riverbank and parklands.

Woods Bagot Director Thomas Masullo said the Adelaide Convention Centre celebrates a sense of place by creating a memorable guest experience.

“Adelaide’s advantage in the conference and events sphere required a centre that marries the experience of the state with the talent of the city. Together the ensemble of buildings deliver a visitor experience that is completely South Australian – dramatic, creative and authentic.”

The Stage 2 East Building incorporates innovative moving parts to maximise the flexibility of the facility and provide many different configurations and sizes of event space. Features include operable walls, two 320-seat rotating auditorium and hinged, tiered seating that when lifted, reveal a flat floor for exhibitions or banquets.

Designed, engineered and built in Australia, the centre’s rotating seating drums are a first of their kind in the region. Combined with hinged seating bays, dividing walls and demountable meeting rooms, the innovation delivered in the East Building has resulted in a highly adaptable and transformative facility

Woods Bagot director Thomas Masullo said the design showcases a landscape formed over half a billion years.

“While the West Building was inspired by the dramatic geology and colours of the nearby Flinders Ranges, the weathered organic shape of the new East Building reflects the weathered contours of the Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island.”

The zinc cladding that wraps the form of the East Building was refined in a façade system developed for this project in South Australia. More than 10,000 individually hand-formed zinc tiles cover the building’s exterior, their soft red pigments referencing the rocky outcrops of the regional landscape.

With a concept derived from the cross-section of a South Australian rock that opens to reveal its inner beauty and character, the tactile interior form is in contrast to the smooth, weathered exterior.

Providing a grand international statement, the distinctive architectural gestures together provide a cohesive, distinctly South Australian narrative. Positioned sensitively within the landscape, the architecture was created with respect for the human scale and patron experience, with views out over Adelaide’s Riverbank Precinct.