Hamer Hall

Melbourne, VIC
Photo © John Gollings
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © John Gollings
Photo © John Gollings
Photo © John Gollings
Photo © John Gollings
Architects
ARM Architecture
Year
2012
Cost
Undisclosed
Stories
Undisclosed

ARM was appointed to design the $128.5m redevelopment of Hamer Hall, the first stage of the Southbank Cultural Precinct Redevelopment, in April 2009. The redevelopment improves Hamer Hall’s acoustics, seating, stage technology and back of house facilities while also creating a more outward facing venue that integrates new public spaces and the riverside to make it more accessible and inviting to the public.

The project connects Hamer Hall with the Yarra River and the city – a new terrace over the riverbank promenade features a "civic stair" from the River to St Kilda Road. The new Hall also includes a second entry to Hamer Hall that allows access directly from the Riverbank Promenade to the circle foyer with retail outlets along the riverfront, new and expanded foyer spaces, better amenities, new stairs, improved disability access, escalators and lifts. The new Hall is also greener, with innovative approaches to sustainability and better waste and water management.

The redevelopment was approved by Heritage Victoria and involved a rigorous documentation and management process to ensure its heritage features were treated sensitively. Throughout the redevelopment we took great care to preserve many unique heritage aspects of the Hall, within both the foyers and the auditorium. This involved a thorough and detailed process, to ensure that the Hall’s features were treated sensitively throughout the construction stage. Retaining as much as possible of John Truscott’s original interiors was a key consideration in planning the redevelopment.

The auditorium itself is an example of contemporary theatre technology and brilliant acoustics. Above the stage hangs the new "technical zone” that houses lights and sound equipment. Flying acoustic reflectors "tune the room" to suit the performance style, be it a solo piano performance, philharmonic orchestra or rock concert. New solid side and back walls to the stage, lined with bronze panels, bounce a clearer sound to the audience with the assistance of a new "live" stage floor mounted on acoustic pads.

The project enables the Arts Centre to program a broader range of events, develop a more diverse audience and further showcase its important collections through new displays and exhibitions.

'I loved this place before ... it’s even better now.'

K.D. LANG

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