Architecture: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Aug 25, 2010
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Photography by Peter Bennetts
  • Designer
  • Architect NH Architecture

The Melbourne Convention Centre is the first convention centre in the world to achieve a 6 Star Green Star rating and incorporates technology to divide a 5600-seat auditorium into three smaller halls. Interiors of this building respond to innovative ESD design initiatives. The design was driven by how to get air into the very large foyer space and the resulting air displacement wall became a significant interior feature.

Various surface designs were generated by referencing local Melbourne landscape, heritage, cultural and sporting elements. The pixelated pattern covering the main foyer floor is derived from mapping water flow into Port Phillip Bay. The water theme is carried into the aluminium sheeting, perforated with a pattern of randomly spaced circles alluding to bubbles. Patterns covering the walls and floor were derived from cultural sources such as an abstracted aboriginal graphic and the pattern derived from the roses of Flemington Racecourse. Contained within the triangular form of the building is Plenary Hall. Conceived as a landmark element, the auditorium is defined by a dynamic enclosure reinforced by its independence from the outer skin of the building. Clad in timber, the sculptural shapes of the walls reflect the textural qualities of the maritime history of the Yarra River.

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