$350m Adelaide Convention Redevelopment

Adelaide Convention Centre is to be expanded and redeveloped at a cost of $350 million ensuring its ongoing competitiveness and boosting its economic and tourism contribution to the state by more than $1.92 billion over the next 25 years.

The redevelopment program announced by South Australian tourism minister, John Rau will be delivered in two stages. The first stage expanding the existing facility westwards over the railway lines to link with Morphett St bridge will start in September this year for completion in time to host the World Aquaculture Conference in May, 2014.

Stage Two of the redevelopment, replacing the existing Plenary Building (home of the original centre in 1987) with a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art facility with plenary capacity of up to 3500 seats, is scheduled for completion in June, 2017. Completion of Stage Two will both increase the centre’s total capacity and deliver maximum flexibility, realising the most substantial financial and economic benefits of the redevelopment.

Adelaide Convention Centre chief executive Alec Gilbert said the state government’s investment recognised the vital importance of the ACC as a major catalyst for tourism and economic growth in South Australia. “Expansion and redevelopment of the centre will re-establish Adelaide as one of the premier conference destinations and ensure its continued competitiveness in national and international markets,” Mr Gilbert said.

“Over the past two decades, the centre has generated around $960 million in direct economic benefits to the state from delegate spend and associated tourism. Notwithstanding its success to date, the ACC operates in a highly competitive global convention and exhibition industry which is required to provide larger and more multi-purpose space with the latest in facility quality and service.”

“The striking design for the redeveloped centre put forward by Adelaide-based international architectural firm Woods Bagot in association with London-based international architect and Vx3 founder Larry Oltmanns will enable the ACC to grow its business and compete effectively against national and international competitors; enhance Adelaide’s national and international brand; reinforce the role of the Centre as a major catalyst of economic and tourism activity; and assist the Riverbank Precinct to realise its full potential.”

Key features of the expanded Adelaide Convention Centre will include:

• A striking built form shape, roof structures and facade inspired by the South Australian landscape, particularly the layers, striations and colours of the cliffs, rock formations and escarpments of the Flinders Ranges;

• Three distinct and individually iconic buildings which also flow seamlessly internally to host one single major event or three separate events concurrently;

• The Stage One extension includes an additional 4300m² of multipurpose convention floor space, associated pre-function spaces, multiple meeting spaces and 1000-seat ballroom built on a “bridge-like” structure over the railway tracks up to Morphett Street Bridge;

• Demolition of the existing plenary building constructed in the 1980s and its replacement with a more functional, highly flexible multi-purpose facility as Stage Two of the redevelopment including plenary capacity of up to 3500 seats or 3000 m² of flat floor space.

This venue can be subdivided and configured within minutes as pre-function space, ballroom, exhibition or plenary space – all of which realises the primary financial and economic benefits of the redevelopment.

• A new alternative main entry including pedestrian and vehicle drop off from Morphett St Bridge;

• A new urban boulevard (Montefiore Rd) linking North Tce to the Riverbank Promenade;

•A new main loading dock accessed from North Tce;

The redevelopment will be undertaken by a multi-disciplinary consortium including Woods Bagot, Baulderstone, Aurecon, Bestec, Rider Levett Bucknall and Thinc Projects.

Mr Gilbert said the centre had been an economic success story for South Australia since its establishment as Australia’s first purpose-built convention centre in 1987.

“This investment in a major redevelopment of the centre will again position South Australia as a leader in the international convention market by providing one of the largest, most flexible and up-to-date meeting places in the world and removing the capacity restraints which have meant we have in recent years lost hosting opportunities interstate and overseas,” Mr Gilbert said.

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