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   -   The Australian Institute of Architects Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture
   -   The Australian Institute of Architects William Wardell Award for Public Architecture (VIC)

Melbourne Recital Centre and MTC Theatre Project
by ARM



The 1000 seat Melbourne Recital Centre and 500 seat MTC Theatre, co-located on their Southbank site, have distinct but complementary identities. Accessed from a landscaped civic plaza that addresses Southbank Boulevard, together they create an exciting new civic space within Melbourne's vibrant arts precinct. The Melbourne Recital Centre has been designed primarily as a chamber music venue with the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall seating 1000 music lovers, and the 150 seat Salon space for pre-concert talks and experimental chamber music. The timber panelling of the performance spaces provides the best possible acoustic for recital music. The building also includes comprehensive backstage support accommodation and a multilevel foyer space whose interior is highly visible from the exterior and provides patrons with spectacular views back toward the city skyline. The design emerged from the idea that the building itself, with its 'box inside a box' structure, serves as a kind of packaging for the precious music within. The new

drama theatre, the first permanent home for the Melbourne Theatre Company, features the 500 seat Sumner Theatre, a single tier, proscenium arch theatre which includes a full fly tower and backstage accommodation for actors and technical staff. There is also the 150 seat Lawler Studio for smaller productions and rehearsals. The facade system is composed of iridescent painted steel pipework mounted proud of black aluminium cladding. The overall facade pattern challenges spatial perceptions through the blurring of 2 & 3 dimensional space that which appears shaped is actually flat, and likewise, a 2 dimensional surface is actually 3 dimensional. A connection with the nature of theatrical production is made explicit and celebrated on the outside of the building. The theatre is prominently located on the corner of Southbank Boulevard and Dodds St where it can be seen from St Kilda Road. The first level foyer to the theatre will provide patrons with views back to the city skyline as they enjoy a drink during intervals.

Contact address:
Project Team
Project architect: Peter Bickle
Design architect: Neil Masterton
Design architect: Andrew Lilleyman
Project Manager: Major Projects Victoria
Structural consultant: Bonacci Group
Hydraulic consultant: Rimmington & Associates
Landscape consultant: RushWright Associates
Lighting consultant: Electrolight
Acoustic consultant: ARUP
Services consultant: Umow Lai
Environmental consultant: Irwinconsult
Builder: Bovis Lend Lease
Builder: Bovis Lend Lease
Project Director: Ian McDougall
Design Director: Howard Raggatt
MTC Team Leader: Stephen Davies
MRC Team Leader: Rhonda Mitchell
3D Architect: Jonathan Cowle
Theatre architect: Will Pritchard
Site Architect: Doug Dickson
Fire Engineer: Thomas Nicolas
Signage & Graphics: Vivid Communications
Facade engineer: Connell Wagner
Cost Consultant: Rider Levett Bucknall
Building Surveyor: McKenzie Group
Planning: Urbis
Photographer: John Gollings
Photographer: John Gollings
Photographer: John Gollings
Photographer: John Gollings

Photographs by John Gollings, John Gollings, John Gollings & John Gollings, text by ARM

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects