Construction has begun on early works for the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation, a $1.7 billion investment by the Victorian government in Australia’s largest cultural infrastructure project. Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres Building, renowned for its sparkling Spire, will commence its most significant refurbishment since opening in 1984.
“We are thrilled to see work begin on this incredibly exciting chapter of Arts Centre Melbourne’s history that will see our beloved building thoughtfully and respectfully refurbished and made accessible to even more people – a gathering place for all Victorians,” says Arts Centre Melbourne Interim CEO Leanne Lawrence.
“The full vision for Arts Centre Melbourne will ensure we retain our reputation and positioning as Australia’s best theatres, cementing our competitive advantage and securing our long-term sustainability.”
Arts Centre Melbourne will remain open as usual throughout the works with events and shows on stages, The Protagonist and The Barre operating as well as the car park.
Contractor Lendlease have already begun early works which are due to be completed by early 2023, preparing for major works to deliver the broader Melbourne Arts Precinct transformation. This includes clearing an area behind the Theatres Building and towards Hamer Hall of plants, trees, landscaping and paved outdoor areas. Several public art sculptures around the Theatres Building have been removed to keep them safe during the work, which will be displayed in temporary homes at other public locations. To keep Arts Centre Melbourne open to the public throughout the project, utilities and services will be moved temporarily above ground.
Photo credit: Arts Centre Melbourne’s Reimagined northern aspect featuring new restaurants and parkland. NH Architecture