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PROJECT: Melbourne Convention Centre

59444 Views 502 Replies 91 Participants Last post by  CP Doom
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/04/18/1082226636118.html

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have lobbied for years for a new convention venue, arguing that Melbourne's existing 1500-seat centre is hopelessly outdated.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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Blabbyboy said:
Any architects? Pics of the new centre? It better be an archi-marvel!
I think the architects are COX Sanderson Ness. The render in todays AFR was fairly standard convention centre architecture, so don't hold your breath...from what I remember it is glassy and curved, with an overhanging moderninst COX style roof overlooking the Yarra
G
silvermb said:
billy stop your bitching, you sound like a woman

as for the $1 billion figure, that will be reached with the $175 million taken to extend Jeff's Shed and another $100 million to redevelop the existing convention centre. the highrise elements are a minimum $200 million. $370 million for the new hall and $43 million for infrastructure

all of the above are part of the precinct development according to the AFR.
Mate I just dont like the way Doyle is constantly putting the State down to try and score some dubious poltical pionts .
He would be better to keep his mouth shut and maybe sometimes come up with something positive.Nothing was ever achieved by being negative.
Since when were politicians any f'n use ??? I agree it's ridiculous the automatic 'I must slander anything you say or do just because I'm in opposition'.

Bracksy said it would cost taxpayers $350m + $400m of potential private sector investement - so Doyle says 'Oh the government changed it's mind from $400m to $800m in one day' ... bolllocks!!

Anyway.. the render in the Feral-Pun wasn't bad. It included what looked like a 100m+ Hotel Tower in the mix ..
i saw the render in the AFR too - i hope it's just an artist's concept, becos it was bluddy boring...we need something of the calibre of the ACCA or the Kennett era "blades". i can't think of another city that quite made such an architectural identity out of a feature like the blade. even LA and other cities try to have "gateways" that don't have any impact - but over here in humble melbourne, we make bold statements about who we are!!!
Blabbyboy said:
i saw the render in the AFR too - i hope it's just an artist's concept, becos it was bluddy boring...we need something of the calibre of the ACCA or the Kennett era "blades". i can't think of another city that quite made such an architectural identity out of a feature like the blade. even LA and other cities try to have "gateways" that don't have any impact - but over here in humble melbourne, we make bold statements about who we are!!!
I have since found out that the render in the AFR is just a masterplanning concept. The final design will be chosen through a consortium tender bid process (architect+builder+financier teams)....similar process to Spencer St Station. The preferred design will be chosen next year.
Can anyone scan the pic in the AFR & post it so that we can all see??
Fountainhead said:
The final design will be chosen through a consortium tender bid process (architect+builder+financier teams)....similar process to Spencer St Station. The preferred design will be chosen next year.
I'm not too keen on this type of precurement. I think it works good for standard government projects, but for something this important it limits the designs to only larger recognised names, and also cancels out real innovation as the banks and builders oversee the architecture.

I think a better approach would be to have a 2 stage process which involved an open international design competition. From that, a shortlist of say 5 designs would be selected. The second stage would be as per spencer street, to ensure buildability, financially security etc. That way an unbuildable design wouldn't attract the financial backing, then wouldn't of course win the second stage, and thus the government wouldn't have egg on the face and a cost blowout.

Federation Square for example would never have occurred as it is because LAB had never built anything, yet it functioned well with them teaming up with Bates Smart. What people tend to forget is that the stuff ups happened on the government/project management side, but the architecture/engineering side worked highly successfully for such a complex project. Since Bracks has been in there hasn't been a design competition for a large civic project. Kennett had us on the right track in this respect with the Museum and Fed Sq.
OSJ said:
I'm not too keen on this type of precurement. I think it works good for standard government projects, but for something this important it limits the designs to only larger recognised names, and also cancels out real innovation as the banks and builders oversee the architecture.

I think a better approach would be to have a 2 stage process which involved an open international design competition. From that, a shortlist of say 5 designs would be selected. The second stage would be as per spencer street, to ensure buildability, financially security etc. That way an unbuildable design wouldn't attract the financial backing, then wouldn't of course win the second stage, and thus the government wouldn't have egg on the face and a cost blowout.

Federation Square for example would never have occurred as it is because LAB had never built anything, yet it functioned well with them teaming up with Bates Smart. What people tend to forget is that the stuff ups happened on the government/project management side, but the architecture/engineering side worked highly successfully for such a complex project. Since Bracks has been in there hasn't been a design competition for a large civic project. Kennett had us on the right track in this respect with the Museum and Fed Sq.
I fully agree and would love to see that happen here. They are not fast-tracking the process however. The new centre opens in 2008. Given a construction period of say 2 years, that still leaves about a year to get a design chosen. I briefly read in a press release that a two stage process is involved, and you are right in that is emerging as the preferred basis for most major public buildings (Brisbanes' millenium arts projects, etc). However, I think it will be more a first stage of open submissions from consortium teams, with second round of shortlisted teams developing schemes. Not quite an open design process as it means architects have to team with established contractors (and possibly financiers), which generally precludes smaller innovative firms such as what LAB were 7 years ago. Also might limit the international side of things.

True, the process does limit ideas to larger established design practices (I happen to work for one), but that does not mean a bad outcome. Some pre-qualified "established" practices may form relationships with more "innovative" newcomers to gain an edge...anything could still happen.
I agree on those points too, Fountainhead & OSJ. And it's certainly a relief that the masterplanning concept is only a concept!
a fairly basic concept design for the complex



i spotted what different design on tv tonight - similar to the Beijing Olympic Stadium, the main difference being the metal lattice-work covers the glass plenary hall rather than a stadium, a promising design and a real chance to create a genuine landmark, don't stuff it up!
That pic above shows the new complex on the car park behind the sheds along the banks of the Yarra not on the old Mazda site!
They should get the architect who did the Age printing facility near Tullamarine - that's got convention centre written all over it (even though it's one of the schmickest industrial buildings anywhere!)
Blabbyboy said:
They should get the architect who did the Age printing facility near Tullamarine - that's got convention centre written all over it (even though it's one of the schmickest industrial buildings anywhere!)
i think they should get mememememememe :banana:
Blabbyboy said:
They should get the architect who did the Age printing facility near Tullamarine - that's got convention centre written all over it (even though it's one of the schmickest industrial buildings anywhere!)
The Age Print Centre
Winner of the 2002 Victorian Architecture Award for best commercial building.
Architects: Ken Sowerby (Trevi, Italy) and Hassell (Melbourne)

I agree with you here Blabbyboy and if not Hassell, it should be ARM for
something really cutting edge! :yes:

______________________________________________________________
I collect, therefore I am. :cool:
Hmmm ... Another bridge for the Yarra. Let's see, between:

- Princess Bridge
- The 1984 Sesquicentenary Foot Bridge
- Sandridge Bridge
- Queens Bridge
- Kings Bridge
- Spencer Street Bridge
- Charles Grimes Bridge

I reckon that Melbourne can easily afford to build a river under all of it's bridges. At least Melburnians can only complain of being so spoiled for choice. I must admit that regardless of whether they build another bridge over the few remaining exposed remnants of the Yarra that I would like to see the government adn MCC make a final end of the Sandridge Bridge. Last time that I checked, Sandridge was at the same stage of completion of its redevelopment as the Athens Olympic Stadium.
How much will the new Convention Centre cost?

Construction of the new facility is estimated to cost $367 million. The ultimate cost to the State will depend on the outcome of the tender process, the scope of services to be provided by the private sector, and the proceeds attributable to the development of other sites within the precinct, which will be undertaken as part of the Convention Centre Redevelopment.

What sort of other buildings/development will be part of this? Hotels?Restaurants?

The Convention Centre will be the catalyst for around $800m in redevelopment of the surrounding precinct for uses such as a hotel, restaurants, retail outlets and residential development. A footbridge link to the Northbank and the realisation of alternative uses for the existing Convention Centre will also be part of the overall redevelopment. A master plan will be developed for the precinct in consultation with the private sector, the City of Melbourne and the Minister for Planning.

What will happen to the existing Convention Centre?

The existing Convention Centre will remain open at least until the new Centre commences operations in 2008. Subsequently, there are a number of options for use of the site, including the operation of a smaller complementary facility or alternative uses which are currently being explored with other stakeholders.

Please, please demolish this blight on the Yarra:


Is the Exhibition Centre to be expanded as part of the Redevelopment?

The Project approved by Government is Stage 1 of a masterplan. Stage 2 involves the potential extension of the Exhibition Centre. The site designated for this extension is to be quarantined from development and is proposed to be used for carparking (this can be seen in the schematics for Stage 1).

Timeline:

Late 2004: Expressions of interest
Mid 2005: Tender documentation released to short-listed bidders
Late 2005: Winning bid announced
Early 2006: construction commences
2008: construction completed

Will the new Convention Centre look like the design shown in the schematics?

No. The schematics illustrate a conceptual design for the new Convention Centre. The State will require that the design meets aesthetic requirements appropriate to the prominent position of the site.

Lucky it's only a schematic because it looks bloody awful, but you get the idea:

I hope DCM get the job so they can intergrate the design with Jeff's shed (which this design doesn't do very well)




A slightly different concept with three towers :)


Map of the area:
very ordinary designs, second sketch is ok. I say move polly woodside to the turning basin next to the aquarium, that way they can utilise the area better and build right up to the water where polly woodside was, maybe with a few cafes looking towards the city on the edge
the first concept looks like an indoor Ice Hockey stadium you'd find in Canada:

GM Place in Vancouver



overall, that 2nd concept would be preferable - more towers to give YE some friends, dunno bout keeping those old warehouses - the boardwalk along there's pretty crappy.

thanks for the info grollo!

I think it's safe to say that this is probably what's going to drive development westward and connect Docklands to the "old City". I'd be willing to bet that this most certainly sets the precedent for massive development & concentration of between King and Spencer Street over the next 10 years. Lay low whilst this boom finishes its construction cycle, and the next won't be too far around the corner!

Bring it on :banana:
Why does it need to be so close to the river, Set it way back closer to the freeway and leave some open space between the riverside sheds and the new building.
Aussie Steve said:
Why does it need to be so close to the river, Set it way back closer to the freeway and leave some open space between the riverside sheds and the new building.
It has to be that close to the river to leave room for stage 2 which is the expansion of the Exhibition Centre. If they built it further back then there would be no room for the Exhibition Centre to expand.
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