MCEC Stage Two

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Expansion Project involves a significant development of current facilities and improved connectivity to this ever-growing precinct. Stage 2 incorporates a range of new state of the art exhibition and auditoria spaces, which will encourage greater diversity of patronage, whilst enriching the experience for the national and international public.

Southbank, Victoria
Project Partner
Woods Bagot
Traditional Country
Wurundjeri/Boon Wurrung
Peter Bennetts

The centrepiece of MCEC Stage 2 is the Exhibition Hall which provides 9000m² of unencumbered space. This can be divided into multiple configurations supported by a range of breakout meeting rooms and outdoor events terraces. Access to the hall is via the new concourse link from the existing Exhibition Centre or via the new central Hub space, which will be the dynamic focal point of the precinct.

The elongated glass ceiling directs a vast panel of daylight into an enclosed space. Whilst the oscillating lighting panels stitch together the two Centres at a point of public connectivity.

The expansive glass ‘sky window’ sweeps over multiple levels to ensure maximum light penetration. The exposure to natural light, coupled with a sense of transparency, softens the often long hours spent inside during conventions. 

The muted colour palettes of the expansive convention spaces act as a blank canvas, onto which specific organisations can apply personal branding with clarity and ease. Convention spaces are equipped with sophisticated lighting and sound systems, installed within the ceiling space. The walls are lined with fabric acoustic panels, which ensure sound separation between simultaneous events.

The DALI lighting system accommodates for colour change, in keeping with specific brand recognition requirements. 

The Hub acts as the new civic space for the precinct, a space to meet and connect, activated by a busy cafe. The Hub is also the central access point to the multi-function space and a suite of meeting rooms; the larger of which are afforded direct back of house food service. These are further complimented by a new 450-seat Banquet Hall and associated pre-function facilities on Level 1.

The additional space is anticipated to generate an additional 74,000 international visitors annually, resulting in a $167 million boost to the Victorian economy per annum.

The design of the carpet tiles displays an abstracted version of the MCEC logo, inspired by Rosalie Gascoigne’s evocative grids. The gold imbued and fragmented patterns are informed by the vivid palettes of Gascoigne’s meditative work, but equally, are in keeping with the gold panelled walls which refer to Melbourne’s ‘Metallic History’ of the Gold Rush Era.

The adjacent Novotel exists as a direct connection to the MCEC, with internal access between the buildings. The rectilinear figure and reflective gold skin, form a statuesque profile on the historic South Wharf Promenade.

The concluding stage of the expansion completed the interpolating loop between the three buildings, activating the space by creating a connection hub of the public realm.