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.

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.

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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.


Plenary Group




Melbourne, Australia

Completion Date



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


NH Architecture

Located at the edge of Melbourne’s financial district, the site sits strategically between the Fishermans Bend and Southbank Precincts.

The exhibition building roof plane extends to form a canopy over the northern facade and wrapping down into the frontage.

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

Columns are repeated through the interiors to maintain a consistent architectural language.

The generous event courtyard is intersected by a back-of-house charcoal bridge linking the original and the new structures.

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

Constructing the geometrical architectural planes alongside the existing structure left zero room for error.