Hamer Hall, Melbourne, Australia

Australia's largest performing arts venue

The award-winning Hamer Hall is home to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and the redesign is the first part of a substantial rethinking of the Arts Centre complex and its neighbourhood.

The two-year redevelopment saw a complete refurbishment of the auditorium, reconfiguration of the foyers and 'back of house' as well as a new riverside deck, making Hamer Hall open, accessible and integrated to its surroundings on the Yarra River.

Being a government project with multiple stakeholders, stakeholder engagement and participation in value management workshops were key to keeping the project within budget while still achieving the key performance targets.

Aurecon undertook all engineering for this landmark building, and the team's intimate understanding and knowledge of the building operations and client requirements were vital to the project's success.

The fast track nature of the project required a high level of collaboration to keep construction moving on site.

A key feature of the auditorium is the installation of a new technical grid over the stage. This allows the Arts Centre more flexibility with performances, which is more attractive to orchestras and performers from around the world. Computational Fluid Dynamic modelling was also carried out to assess temperature distribution in the auditorium for the new air conditioning configuration.

A complete reconfiguration of the entry foyers, incorporating additional escalators, has provided a more pleasant amenity to the patrons and vastly improved people circulation and exit times. Furthermore, reconfiguration of the back of house has streamlined the loading and delivery area to improve bump-in/out times.


The project has won the following awards:

  • Winner: Australian Institute of Architects Awards – Victoria Region 2013 – John George Knight Award Heritage
  • Winner: Australian Institute of Architects Awards – Victoria Region 2013 – Marion Mahony Award Interior Architecture
  • Winner: Australian Institute of Architects Awards – Victoria Region 2013 – Public Architecture Award Alterations and Additions
  • Winner: Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia Public Domain Awards 2013 – Walls


Courtesy of C+A Issue 18, Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia

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