The state Government has unveiled the final designs for the $350 million Adelaide Convention Centre expansion with an enthusiastic Premier Mike Rann stating that, “These developments are going to change the face of Adelaide”.
“It is all about revitalising the city centre. We had a city which had turned its back on the river and now we are making the river the centre of the city.
“We need to look at what we can do and to have a new vista stretching all along the river, taking in the convention centre, the new medical centre and the new hospital until it gets to the old Adelaide Gaol site.”
These will be the Government’s two next big projects and along with the hospital and SA Health Medical Research Institute, the Riverbank would become the state’s biggest ever building site.
If all plans go ahead, work will begin on the first stage of the expansion, abutting the Morphett St bridge, in September and be completed by 2014.
Stage one will have 4300 square metres of multi-purpose convention space, meeting spaces and a 1000-seat ballroom built over the railway tracks up to the bridge. The second stage, which features a distinctive hi-tech glass arrow structure capable of seating 3500 people, will be completed in June 2017.
Deputy Premier John Rau, said the project, aimed at boosting the convention centre’s economic and tourism contribution to SA by more than $1.9 billion over the next 25 years, would provide Adelaide with “two of its most remarkable buildings”. The new buildings are a collaboration between Adelaide-based international architectural firm Woods Bagot and London-based architect Larry Oltmans from the company Vx3.
Furthermore, Mr Rau said the expansion would also act as a catalyst to attract further private investment along North Tce, including premium clothing stores, and more restaurants and accommodation.
The precinct is said to be “One of the largest, most flexible and up-to-date meeting places in the world,” according to Convention Centre chairwoman, Jane Jeffreys.