Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center Expansion

Expansion of Quintessential Melbourne Building Supports its International Hosting Role

This facility demonstrates the typology’s best: inviting global conventions and exhibitions while actively connecting with its city and showcasing local culture. Holding its own as public architecture, the building captures the city’s image as a centre for international commerce, conferencing and public entertainment. With the idea of “great architecture as urban landscaping,” the expansion achieves both urban design and building design by knitting together the project with its surroundings into a masterplan that improves local access and amenity.

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Supported by an efficient and flexible architectural layout, the multifaceted project encompasses a range of meeting and banquet rooms—connected to the central foyer via escalators and a grand staircase—as well as a new 331-key hotel and multilevel carpark.

The centrepiece of the expansion portion of this project is the exhibition hall. This central area is supported by a network of floor pits on a six-by-nine-meter grid while mirroring the spatial dimensions of adjoining facilities. The hall can be further subdivided to create a multi-functional event space, accessed through a new concourse. Linked to both the existing exhibition centre concourse and the main plenary foyer, this hub will act as a communal area for visitors.

A new pedestrian link within the carpark provides a public connection from the southern Fisherman’s Bend Precinct to the Yarra River—part of an overall upgrade to the public realm that improves general connectivity within the precinct.

Client

Plenary Group

Status

Construction Process

Location

Melbourne, Australia

Completion Date

2018

Size

Exhibition Expansion 30,000 square meters; Multideck Carpark 41,500 square meters; Hotel 20,00 square meters

The site is located at the edge of Melbourne’s financial district and it sits strategically between the Fishermans Bend and Southbank Precincts.

The continuation of the exhibition building roof plane forms a canopy extending forward over the northern facade and wrapping down into the northern frontage.

The new four-star Novotel hotel above the multi-deck carpark.

The use of repeated columns are carried through to the interiors to maintain a consistent architectural language.

The courtyard caters 800 people and is intersected by a longitudinal back-of-house charcoal bridge connecting the original structure and expansion.

Slender, bifurcated columns support the roof and mimic the angular columns and geometry of the original Melbourne Convention Centre structure.

Constructing the geometrical architectural planes alongside the existing structured presented challenges in that there was no room for error and close to zero construction tolerances in meeting several acute points.