In assessing the Sir Zelman Cowen Award, the jury was conscious of the increasing significance of a new generation of public buildings to cities and regions participating in the emerging global economy. As containers of memorable human experiences, these can also help to weave threads of social continuity and cohesion.
The Melbourne Exhibition Centre is a confident response to its location and programme; a strongly horizontal building fronting the river and the city. Its architecture expresses exciting ideas and its principal componentsthe entry building, exhibition space, concourse and colonnadecombine as a clearly legible composition.
The entry building's interlocking spaces and dramatically inclined planes offer exhuberant gestures of welcome. The colonnadein fact a verandahusefully serves as an outdoor court for the exhibition halls, a shade to the glass north wall and a rain-protected path towards the east and west address points. The exhibition hall is an excellent space with functional, flexible support systems and services. Materials, colours and graphics emphasise the spatial sequences and establish a human scale. Construction is superbly detailed.
Photography John Gollings
|MELBOURNE EXHIBITION CENTRE
Architects/Interior Designers/Landscape Designers Denton Corker Marshallproject director Bill Corker. Developers Victorian Government Office of Major Projectsproject manager John Westonfor the Department of Business and Employment. Structural, Civil and Traffic Engineers Ove Arup. Electrical, Mechanical, Hydraulic, Fire, Lift and Communication Services Engineers Connel Wagner. Acoustics Watson Moss Growcott. Graphic Design Emery Vincent Quantity Surveyors WT Partnership. Builders Baulderstone Hornibrook.
This project is more fully covered in AA May/June 1996.