NH Architecture, in collaboration with Woods Bagot, has just unveiled the launch of the $205 million expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) this morning.
The original Melbourne Convention Centre by Woods Bagot and NH Architecture was completed in 2009, but the newly unveiled large-scale 20,000 square metre expansion includes 9,000 square metres of exhibition space plus a flexible, multi-purpose event space, a 100-seat plenary theatre, multiple meeting rooms, a banquet room seating 450 guests, and café and bar.
“The expansion celebrates Melbourne and the South Wharf precinct as a centre of design excellence,” commented NH Architecture’s director of architecture and design, Hamish Lyon.
“Architecture and design are at the very heart of the MCEC expansion, which is a continuation of the outstanding qualities of the existing building,” said Mr Lyon. “The new event areas and public spaces will ensure the precinct is a vibrant destination for both locals and visitors.”
The expansion integrates with the existing convention centre and the added flexibility of the expansion allows the centre to oscillate between events of any scale.
“This is now a totally integrated precinct, a mix of world-class exhibition and meeting facilities, supporting the infrastructure of a new hotel and car park,” explained Woods Bagot principal and project director, Andy Gentry.
“Whether a visitor is here for a one-hour meeting or a three-day conference, the experience is cohesive, and it feels part of the Melbourne culture.”
Another key feature of the hub is the covered, decked courtyard, which was designed to fulfill the demand of the highly competitive function space market. The hub’s courtyard was designed to provide both an indoor and outdoor experience to all those who visit.
In addition to this, the Sovereign Room banquet hall has the capability to serve up to 450 guests in 10 minutes.
The design of the expansion was unveiled by the Victorian government in 2016, with the government fully funding the $205 million project.