Early Works kick off at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres Building

Early Works have started around the Theatres Building at Arts Centre Melbourne, signalling the start of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation.

The Victorian Government is investing $1.7 billion to transform the Melbourne Arts Precinct into one of the greatest creative and cultural destinations in the world.

NH has been working with Arts Centre Melbourne team since 2015 to plan the sensitive restoration works of the Theatres Building alongside the design of a more comprehensive upgrade of the building’s facilities.

The new design will enhance the experience of the theatre for both patrons and performers. Improved acoustics, upgraded seating and universal access facilities will all bring the theatre experience up to global standards. Improvements are also planned for the back of house spaces, which will add new loading docks, scenery lifts, a green room and rehearsal and function spaces.

We’ve worked closely with Heritage Victoria to preserve and respect the architecture of the Theatres building designed by Sir Roy Grounds, with interiors by John Truscott. The theatre experience that we all treasure in the beloved State Theatre won’t appear to be all that different. The red carpets, brass balustrades and cascading, gold leaf painted ceiling is all staying.

We’re also honouring the tradition set up by John Truscott of working with local artists and crafts people. “In keeping with the original intent of engaging local designers and artists, the design team are pursuing opportunities to work with local furniture and carpet manufacturers. These collaborations will add to the richness of the experience for theatre patrons” said NH Director Astrid Jenkin, who’s leading the project.

Our team have also designed a new western entrance to the Theatres Building, making it now a building in the round, and public spaces in collaboration with design partner, Norway’s Snøhetta. These new spaces will meet the 18,000 square metres of added public green space planned for the precinct.

The Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation is the largest cultural infrastructure project in Australia’s history. The project is being overseen by MAP Co, in collaboration with Development Victoria, Creative Victoria, Arts Centre Melbourne and the National Gallery of Victoria.

Image of the works site being set up behind ACM, courtesy of MAP Co, Main image of the State Theatre interior by Mark Gambino, courtesy of Arts Centre Melbourne

Image of the works site being set up behind ACM, courtesy of MAP Co.