New Conservatorium building for Southbank

August 16 / 185

Wardle Architects' impression of the new Conservatorium building proposed at Southbank
Wardle Architects' impression of the new Conservatorium building proposed at Southbank

Construction of a state-of-the-art building for the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) on the University’s Southbank campus will proceed, following an agreement between the University and the Victorian Government.

Last month, Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino and Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley confirmed the University would be given a $3 million capital grant and provided with an extended lease for the site at 33 Sturt Street in Southbank, allowing for a purpose-built facility in the heart of the Melbourne Arts Precinct.

To be designed by John Wardle Architects, the $104.5 million building will help consolidate existing MCM staff and students on the Southbank campus, while retaining existing Conservatorium infrastructure, including Melba Hall, on the Parkville campus. The project will include a 443-seat auditorium, as well as a public square that will contribute to the community space plan for the Melbourne Arts Precinct Blueprint.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said the development would “further strengthen the relationships we have with our neighbour and partner organisations, helping to boost the Arts Precinct’s international reputation as a vibrant creative hub, while also creating a dynamic new environment for music education and collaboration.

“This will be a truly world-class Conservatorium, one that will deliver enormous benefits to Victoria,” he said.

Dean of the Faculty of VCA & MCM, Professor Barry Conyngham, said the new Conservatorium building would be a valuable asset for students and the wider community alike.

“The MCM is recognised as a key contributor in the Melbourne Arts Precinct, and working in partnership and collaboration with some of Australia’s leading arts organisations, we want to continue to inspire the next generation of musicians and teachers and help grow Australia’s vibrant arts and music sector.

“The new Conservatorium building will help us reach this goal.”

Part of the Faculty of the VCA & MCM, the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music is one of Australia’s oldest and largest tertiary music institutions, established in 1894. The Faculty teaches more than 7,000 students and attracts more than 31,000 visitors each year. 

Construction of the new Conservatorium building is slated to begin in 2017, with first classes to commence in 2019.

Visit the Southbank Redevelopment website for further information and updates. 

Story by Paul Dalgarno.

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