The Theatres Building at Arts Centre Melbourne, renowned for its famous spire, will have its most significant refurbishment since it opened in 1984. This project is a part of the $1.7 billion Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation by the Victorian government. Venues like the State Theatre, Playhouse and Fairfax Studio will be completely refurbished, two new restaurants and bars will be built, and a new entrance will be built onto 18,000 square metres of public parkland, connecting Hamer Hall to The Fox: NGV Contemporary gallery and beyond. Early construction works have already begun.
Refurbishment at Arts Centre Melbourne
This once-in-a-generation project is all about transforming the Melbourne Arts Precinct into an unforgettable cultural destination. The precinct includes famous venues such as Fed Square, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, the National Gallery of Victoria, Hamer Hall and the State Theatre. As a result of this project, the Theatres Building at Arts Centre Melbourne will receive a facelift.
The State Theatre will receive improvements to accessibility and audience comfort. Wheelchair positions will be added across the stalls, serviced by two new DDA compliant lifts, so that wheelchair users and those with mobility challenges can easily move from the foyers to their seats. There will also be 68 new amenity seats, with wider row and seat options. The theatre will also receive upgrades to lighting, acoustic and digital streaming technology, and restoration to the heritage-listed interiors.
Other spaces, like Playhouse and Fairfax Studio, will also be revamped, with new scenery lifts, a new loading dock, green rooms for artists, and studio and function spaces. A new event space above the State Theatre Rehearsal Studio will allow you to view artists at work.
The building will also have two new restaurants and bars. One will set up at the new western entrance, and another will be at the northern façade, overlooking the Yarra to Federation Square.
Early works have already begun, including clearing an area behind the Theatres Building of plants, trees, landscaping and paved outdoor areas. This will keep the space ready for 18,000 square metres of public parkland, featuring elevated pedestrian and garden areas, and providing a green connection between iconic arts venues. The State Theatre will close for refurbishment in 2024, and reopen in December 2026.
For more information about the construction, click here.