MCEC expansion to reshape the event experience
Published 19 February 2018
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - There has been a flurry of activity at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre's $205 million expansion.
The 20,000-square-metre expansion includes 9,000 square metres of flexible, multi-purpose event space, new exhibition halls, additional meeting rooms, a banquet room and the Goldfields Café and Bar.
Once completed, the new space will cement MCEC’s position as the largest convention and exhibition space in Australia, with an increased total size of over 70,000 square metres.
Set to open mid-year, the new space has been architecturally-designed to provide customers with more options for any event type; from meetings and conferences through to educational seminars or gala dinners.
Works completed to date include the installation of the central staircase, distinctive gold exterior panels and a skylight over the new foyer space (pictutred), a significant architectural feature of the building.
Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren said the expansion will cement Melbourne as the business events capital of Australia.
“Our expansion is an absolute game-changer – we’re talking three-and-a-half-MCGs of new space to attract more events and thousands more visitors to Victoria,” Minister Eren said.
“Not only will this redevelopment boost tourism, it will also create more than 900 new jobs and provide a massive boost to our local economy each year.”
MCEC Chief Executive Peter King said customer experience was front-of-mind when planning the design.
“We want to ensure our facilities suit the needs of our customers, rather than constraining them to fit within our space. A multi-purpose area with a retractable 1,000-seat theatre and adaptable meeting rooms are just two of the many flexible features throughout the new building,” Mr King said.
“We have 220 events confirmed for our new expansion space, commencing mid-year."
Victoria’s rich history has provided the design inspiration in determining names for key spaces within its expansion. The greatest inspiration came from the gold colour of the expansion’s exterior, culminating in Victoria’s goldfields becoming the theme from which names would be drawn.
From the Goldfields Theatre, Sovereign Room, Eureka Rooms and Goldfields Café and Bar, the names link to the goldfields of Victoria’s past having been a place for people to gather along with a period of new opportunities, ideas, prosperity and grandeur.
The expansion is part of a larger South Wharf expansion project that includes a new 347-room Novotel Melbourne South Wharf and a new 1,150-space multi-level car park – all fully connected and integrated with existing buildings. The multi-level car park is complete, and the new hotel will open in March.
The Victorian Government provided $205 million for the expansion of MCEC, and the State’s partner Plenary and its partners Flagship Property Holdings and Vicinity Centres are investing more than $150 million in the new hotel and car park.
View the latest time lapse video showing the progress of the whole South Wharf precinct expansion
Plenary was financial adviser and an investor in the $1.4 billion Melbourne Convention Centre project completed in 2009 and plays a key role in the expansion project and the ongoing asset management of MCEC.
Banner image: Inside the MCEC expansion project currently under construction. Image: Shannyn Higgins Photography
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