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PROJECT: Melbourne Convention Centre

60124 Views 502 Replies 91 Participants Last post by  CP Doom

New convention centre, bridge for city's west
By Royce Millar
City Reporter
April 19, 2004

A new footbridge over the Yarra linking Southbank and Docklands will be part of a $330 million convention precinct the State Government is expected to announce in its April statement tomorrow.

The precinct's centrepiece will be a 5000-seat convention centre, or plenary hall, earmarked for the former Mazda site next to the Exhibition Centre, widely known as Jeff's Shed.

Business groups have lobbied for years for a new convention venue, arguing that Melbourne's existing 1500-seat centre is hopelessly outdated.

The State Government has been tight-lipped about details of the April statement and has refused to confirm whether the convention centre project would be included.

Government sources said they expected the project to be a public-private partnership, with a private group building the centre and leasing it to the government.

The managers of the existing exhibition centre - a government-appointed trust - are likely to run the new centre.

But the project will hinge on support from the Melbourne City Council, which will be under intense pressure tomorrow to contribute $43 million, including about $15 million for the bridge.

Yesterday's Government announcement that it would return control of Docklands to the council was clearly timed to encourage the council to support the convention centre.

Yesterday a town hall source said the council had demanded it get Docklands back in return for a contribution to the convention centre.

A private town hall briefing today will be the first formal council discussion on the project. A special council meeting to vote on the contribution has been hastily called for tomorrow to coincide with the April statement.

Lord Mayor John So strongly supports the new centre. He will have the numbers to approve a council contribution.

But the council is split, with as many as four of the nine councillors possibly opposed to council involvement.

Finance committee chairman and former Labor Party member Kevin Chamberlin said yesterday the council administration had confirmed that a large contribution would result in service cuts, a rate rise, or both.

If the convention centre was to be a public-private partnership the council should not contribute, he said.

The Committee for Melbourne called on the council to back the project.

"People come to these conventions with millions of disposable dollars and this has a remarkable knock-on effect for business in the city," executive director Janine Kirk said.

State MPs and councillors have questioned whether Melbourne needs a new centre, when existing venues such as the Docklands football stadium can seat 5000.

But the chief executive of the existing Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, Leigh Harry, said that to compete for international conventions, Melbourne needed a centre with a large plenary hall, a large exhibition space, and plenty of smaller meeting rooms.

He said no existing Melbourne venue provided all three.

Mr Harry said among world cities Melbourne had slipped from fourth to 25th in the number of international conventions hosted.

He said that Melbourne's lack of convention capacity made it ineligible for 320 major international conventions.
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^I believe after the Commonwealth Games. And I'm sure Baulderstone Hornibrook and Multiplex were part of 2 of the three proposals.
Hope there's a tower or two attatched to the site as per conceptual renders.
Hope Multiplex wins. By the sound of things their's is by far the best solution as all that activity will liven up that part of the city. During the day going from the Exhibition centre to Yarra's Edge on foot it's pretty dead apart from the occasional reception every now and then and the few people that frequent that ghastly Maritime Museum. It'll also mean more cranes and shut some of the naysayers up.
Does John Denton have any input into which proposal is chosen or make any recommendations to the government?
Wow what a great day, first the Ice rink at Docklands and now this, things couldn't get any better....*awaits announcement of supertall on Powerstation site*. And they're fixing up the Maritime Museum too which is a bonus. The article also answered my question about John Denton's involvement.
Channel 10 gave no warning. All I managed to get was this pic of a tower which looks to be about 20 storeys tall. It was annoying because they showed a fly through but no still renders.

I'll watch Ch9 and 7 news to try and get more and better pics.
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Yep pics:

Hotel to the left and Office/resi to the right.

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The resi/office looks like it's been split with about 7 levels of office on top of about 12 or so of residential or vice versa it was a bit hard to tell from the only render they provided. Couldn't get a shot unfortunately, I've just got that model to go by.
I get the feeling this is why Woods Bagot hasn't gotten back to me about doing work experience, they've been working on this and probably wouldn't trust me to keep it hush hush. That or they just forgot.
I just noticed these two renders show three towers, I thought there were only going to be two. Looks like two of about 70m and one of about 90m+.

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Aussie Steve said:
I can only see 2 towers. Where is the 3rd one?
Here we go (sorry about crapness).

They make no mention anywhere of a third tower but for some reason there are three in that render; the Hilton, the Woods Bagot designed tower (which is only slightly visible because the Hilton blocks out most of it) and that other one to the far left which looks like a 30 storey resi, I thought it might of been a really crappy YE1 model but it looks to be in the wrong spot.:dunno:
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Aussie Steve said:
I think the photo is miss leading. I suspect because of the angle, it looks like 2 towers in that shot, when in fact its only 1. The other tower is closer to Charles Grimes Bridge.
I thought that may have been the case too but if you look at this pic the Woods Bagot tower is nowhere near the height of that tower on the far right. Plus that darker strip (visible next to the Hilton which I've labelled Tower 2) couldn't be part of the Hilton as the Hilton has a parallelogram-like floorplan which you can see in the pic you posted. I must get to the bottom of this. They probably just through that taller tower in for the sake of it. They're screwing around with my head.

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So it's just a really bad model of YE1 then. Dang.
Adamonline said:
People can be critical all that they want to be. But I ask that does every single building in Melbourne have to be an 'Opera House' or something bold and adventurous? Does indeed Melbourne need a landmark building? The ones that it has are very impressive and add to the fabric of the city. You're quite right that Melbourne can build marvellously by providing quality instead of statement.
:applause: I also think that people are forgetting about the six star green rating, which would be seen as a constraint on the design, as certain materials and design strategies would have to be employed to achieve this. For a building that achieves a six star rating it's pretty damn good. And I also think it's wrong to pin your hopes of a landmark and iconic design on a convention centre, it would be best reserved for a cultural building, perhaps like the end of Central Pier speaking of which they should be announcing that pretty soon. My only gripe with the Convention centre is the bridge (don't need it) and how close it is to the Exhibition centre. Other than that I couldn't ask for more (maybe another tower but meh). I'm interested in seeing all the other submissions.
^^Don't forget Southern Cross Station.

Blabbyboy said:
Who your daddy now?
Garmatt said:
Next big opportunity that I'm really excited about is the central pier development. Do you have insider information on the announcement date Archibomber?
Don't quote me on this but I've heard a few whispers that we should be getting an announcement on Central Pier some time around the Commonwealth Games and it is supposed to involve Grand Plaza as well. Don't know much about the design (other than it should please most). Not sure what it will facilitate but some sort of cultural building is likely. :cheers:
The architects/firms involved are NH Architecture, Woods Bagot and Larry Oltermanns. John Denton would have had some input but wouldn't have been invoved in the actual designing of it. Another two renders from MECC:

Also according to Woods Bagot, construction should commence in April.
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Also the MCC design displays characteristics usually associated with deconstructivist buildings. While it's hard to tell in the renders the facade facing the Yarra actually folds in and out not unlike certain parts of Fed Square's facade, as does the roof, however it's not as full on as some deconstructivist buildings.
Someone's got a sense of humour having that yacht on the Yarra heading in the direction of the bridge.
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