For the last decade or so, Southbank in Melbourne, Victoria has been a shining light on how rundown elements of a city can be rejuvenated. The area has seen a phenomenal growth and much has been made of making it a beacon of architecture in Australia.
The recently completed Melbourne Theatre Company and Melbourne Recital Centre, both designed by architects Ashton Raggatt McDougal (ARM) are dynamic and radiant examples of the design dynamism that continues to envelop the area.
In recognition of their work and contribution, ARM have been awarded the highest awards in the categories of public architecture, interior design as well as urban design for the 2009 Victorian Architecture Medal.
The design for the Melbourne Theatre Company uses a three dimensional iridescent steel tubing folds and bends against black aluminium cladding as the facade.
Within the complex is the Sumner Theatre, a 500-seat hall noticeably without a balcony or mezzanine space, but still allowing exceptional vantage points. Also of note is the Word Wall which features 70 quotations from a variety of theatrical plays which are illuminated when the stage is dark.
There is also a full rehearsal hall that can be used as an event space or a smaller performance space, as well as a caféteria and bar.
Definitely worth a visit and worthy of the world’s best performances.