Design Features

The triangular design of the new Melbourne Convention Centre will give the cityscape a new iconic feature on the banks of the Yarra River.

The distinctive 18-metre high glass façade will give passers by a glimpse to activity in the centre, creating a foyer full of natural light, as well as offering views from across the Yarra River to the city.

The design team from NHArchitecture and Woods Bagot have aimed to create a public building that will belong to Melbourne, rather than the typical convention centre stereotype that it would look like a modified sports stadium.

They also met the challenge of integrating the new centre with the existing Exhibition Centre, while also attempting to create a building with hits own distinctive identity. The two buildings will be linked via an enclosed glass walkway.

Just as with the Exhibition Centre, the roof will be seamless with a modern shape, which will look spectacular from where ever it is viewed. The total area of the roof will be some 20,000m2 with each side 200m long.

The design also meets the Government’s brief for a 5,000-seat divisible plenary hall that will offer maximum flexibility.

“It was a complex problem,” says Hamish Lyon. “we travelled around the world and we saw 5,000-seat halls and divisible halls but none that had both features”. 

Ultimately, the team found a winning design solution that meets the brief and includes Gala seating in the plenary hall to allow for flexible seating configurations, 32 meeting rooms and a ground foyer for 8,400 guests.

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