Ashton Raggatt McDougal (ARM) architects designed the Melbourne Recital Centre and the neighbouring Melbourne Theatre Company helping to transform the formerly derelict Southbank area of the city in to the dynamic district it has now become. Formely they got honoured with the 2009 Victorian Architecture Medal winning highest accolades in three categories for public architecture, interior design as well as urban design.
The entrance begins with the dramatic facade in 3D iridescent steel tubing folds that bends against black aluminium. The interior, is a 500-seat hall noticeably without a balcony or mezzanine space, but still allowing exceptional site lines to the stage regardless.
The most striking element that you can find inside, is the World Wall in the main theatre where 70 quotes from different plays are illuminated when the stage is dark. The building also houses a full rehearsal hall that can be used as an event space or a smaller performance space, as well as a café and bar at the front of the house.
Short news text about the award:
The recital centre and MTC buildings by ARM and the urban transformation of their formerly neglected Southbank site are honored with the 2009 Victorian Architecture Medal for successfully crossing design boundaries and taking out the top awards in three categories: the William Wardell Award for public architecture; th
e Marion Mahony Award for interior architecture and the Joseph Reed Award for urban design.
Chair of juries, Philip Goad, says the combined buildings make a significant contribution to Melbourne’s arts precinct and may well expand current audiences, sentiments echoed in the Victorian Medal jury citation.
“The robust sculptural facades have already become iconic and the changes to traffic and pedestrian patterns at an urban level have transformed the area into an active domain,” praised the jury.
Photos by John Gollings