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Architecture: MCEC public precinct

April 29, 2011

The public precinct around Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, designed by ASPECT Studios, weaves an uninterrupted path between the heritage wharf and surrounding buildings.

The integration of the public realm with large scale buildings and facilities is the key to the design for the new Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the adjacent South Wharf mixed use precinct. The design allows continuous and seemingly uninterrupted access through the site and among the buildings. This was a challenging task for a precinct that contains a convention centre, hotel, retail, residential, public forecourts, promenades, laneways, heritage landscapes and the refurbished Exhibition Centre Park.

The public realm weaves together the complex interplay of heritage wharf environment, varied building and podium elements, significant level changes and underground service, maintenance and access requirements, car parking requirements, unconnected cycle networks and disjointed pedestrian networks.

Far-reaching WSUD initiatives assisted in the overall water treatment that enabled the Convention Centre to attain a 6 star Green Star rating, the highest sustainability rating achieved in Australia for developments of this type.

The design of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre exemplifies ASPECT’s approach to collaboration, sustainability and enduring quality. The wharfs, promenades, squares, laneways, rain gardens and integrated cycleways form a new significant public place for Melbourne, linking the city to the Docklands and to South Melbourne.

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