NH Architecture and Norway’s Snøhetta have been appointed to deliver the Arts Centre Melbourne’s vision for the future of the Theatres Building, including addressing specific critical maintenance issues. The team will create an integrated design for the footprint of the Theatres Building, incorporating design for the Critical Asset Maintenance project to minimise redundant works in the future as the organisation progresses with a major redevelopment.
The Critical Asset Maintenance project and the continued development of Reimaging Arts Centre Melbourne’s Masterplan are supported by the Victorian Government as part of the first stage of the transformation of Melbourne’s Arts Precinct.
The precinct redevelopment will deliver NGV Contemporary, a new gallery on the current CUB administration building on Kavanagh Street, major upgrades to theatres and public spaces at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres Building, and a new creative hub at 1 City Road. This will provide new rehearsal and workshop spaces, an expanded Australian Music Vault and a new Australian Performing Arts Gallery. The project will include more than 18,000m2 of new and renewed public open space, seamlessly linking the city to the Melbourne Arts Precinct and beyond.
The new design aims to enhance the inclusivity of experience for both performer and patron, whilst preserving and respecting the building’s heritage. Through consistent engagement with Heritage Victoria, four key drivers which acknowledge the ‘respect and privilege’ inherent in ACM’s custodianship of the Theatres Building have been developed. This includes the need for democratic architecture in the promotion of public freedom within the civic space, alongside the engagement of local designers and ensuring a sense of legacy remains central to the architecture throughout.