For over 35 years, the Geelong Arts Centre has earned its illustrious reputation as the region’s cultural icon. As the only state-owned arts centre in Victoria outside of Melbourne CBD, it has been a long-lasting symbol of the city’s thriving creative and artistic community.
Award-winning multi-disciplinary design studio, Hassell, saw an inimitable opportunity for the UNESCO Creative City – a well-deserved title for Geelong recieved in 2017. Determined to rejuvenate the well-loved community space, the new Geelong Arts Centre redefines its growing reputation as a revolutionary and enriching artistic hub into the new decade.
Hassell’s $38.5 million development put the community at its core. Opened to the public at the end of last year, an enticing translucent form crowns over a heritage Church façade. Clean, minimal and elegant – this contemporary design reconnects the old and the new in a confident and vibrant new identity. Colossal in size, the Geelong Arts Centre establishes a strong civic presence as a landmark that wants to be seen across the regional city.
“Geelong Arts Centre will not only be a reinvigorated destination, it will also help service the needs of the growing creative and cultural community,” states Hassell principal Mark Loughnan.
The new structure provides a unique visitor experience of the performing arts through a modernised range of communal and creative spaces. Inside the revitalised soul of the arts hub, the design carves out two new levels of foyer, a dynamic bar area, state-of-the-art rehearsal studios and dynamic co-working spaces for collaborative work across the art community.
A striking, sculptural staircase connects the renovated ground floor and balcony foyers. A space like no other, this zone services The Playhouse theatre, studios and future Church Theatre – acting as the heart of the arts centre.
“Growing up in Geelong and now seeing Geelong Arts Centre’s Ryrie Street building come to fruition has given me an immense amount of pride,” expresses Mark.
A platform for the local community, Geelong Arts Centre represents the stunning architectural, cultural and arts movement that the city has seen in the last decade. Captivating, immersive and sophisticated – the redevelopment ushers in a new era for the Geelong Arts Centre.
“Geelong Arts Centre has long been at the heart of Geelong’s creative community,” Martin Foley MP, Ministers for Creative Industries adds. “Thirty-eight years later, the community has grown and so has Geelong Arts Centre. We’re proud to have supported this latest chapter and the growth of the region as a creative hub.”
A city that’s well-loved and famously known for its passion for the arts, dedication to its community, and energetic livelihoods, Geelong’s future amongst the creative community has just begun once again.
Geelong Arts Centre
Photography by Rory Gardiner