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Architects appointed to reimagine Arts Centre Melbourne

Architects appointed to reimagine Arts Centre Melbourne
September 2, 2018

Arts Centre Melbourne has appointed NH Architecture and Norwegian practice Snøhetta to design its vision for the future of its Theatres Building.

The project will include critical infrastructure upgrades within the Theatres building and the replacement of the State Theatre rigging system.

Designed by Australian architect Roy Grounds, and originally conceived to have theatres and a concert hall underground, the Theatres Building was completed in 1984. However, the discovery of an underground river forced a redesign of the building.

In 1979, theatre designer John Truscott was appointed to redesign the Roy Grounds interiors for the Theatres Building and Melbourne Concert Hall (now Hamer Hall).

Commenting on the design task, Hamish Lyon Director of Architecture and Design at NH Architecture, stated “given the building was opened in the early 1980s, there’s a whole range of activities that need to be done to bring the building up to current code compliance and also to bring the three performance venues - State Theatre, Fairfax Studio and Playhouse Theatre - up to the current worlds best practice for technologies and fly towers.

“The second half of the project, which is under the reimagining category, is to build on the custodial qualities that we feel towards the Roy Grounds building and John Truscott interiors.

“At a design level, (we aim to) open the building up a bit for a bit more public and community engagement.”

The redevelopment will include a stand-alone contemporary art and design gallery for the National Gallery of Victoria, NGV Contemporary, and a new creative arts hub housing the Australian Performing Arts Gallery and the Australian Music Vault.

The development of the Arts Centre is being supported by the Victorian Government as part of the $208 milion first stage of the transformation of Melbourne’s art precinct.

A new fourth arts campus will connect to the existing theatre building, offering new and exciting spaces for rehearsals and a new tourism attraction for Melbourne – the Australian Performing Arts Gallery.

Snøhetta and NH Architecture are also currently collaborating on the Melbourne Park development.

Construction is set to get underway on that project in 2019.

Images: The Arts Centre Melbourne dopened in 1984 (top), the design team is interested in opening up the Theatres Building to the forecourt (middle) and the Theatres Building's auditorium (below). Images courtesy of Mark Gambino.

Related Articles

3rd June 2018 - Australia’s largest contemporary art gallery to open as part of expanded NGV

23rd September 2017 - Arts Centre Melbourne to be home to Australia’s music hall of fame

13th July 2017 - Plan revealed to convert road lane to park on Melbourne’s Southbank

19th September 2016 - Cox Architecture reveals Rod Laver Arena redevelopment designs

12th July 2016 - New $105 million home for Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in Southbank

22nd April 2016 - Victoria’s creative strategy shifts into gear

14th October 2015 - James MacKenzie named new President of Arts Centre Melbourne

18th December 2013 - New Hamer Hall welcomes almost 400,000 patrons in first year of operations

17th January 2013 - National Theatre Marketing Director to join Arts Centre Melbourne

29th November 2012 - HOSTPLUS agrees five year Arts Centre Melbourne sponsorship

17th September 2012 - Kyle Johnston and Jodie Bennett join Arts Centre Melbourne executive team

17th July 2012 - Special events to mark Hamer Hall re-opening


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