Adelaide Convention Centre Expansion

Adelaide Convention Centre Expansion

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Adelaide, Australia | View Map

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Adelaide Convention Centre Expansion

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill en tant que Architectes.

SOM’s expansion and renovation of Adelaide’s Convention Centre bolstered the city of 1.5 million’s standing as an international convention site, while simultaneously reconnecting historic parts of the city to the waterfront. Built on space assembled from air rights over a rail yard, the new facility shares a site with the Old and New South Australia State Parliament Houses, the Adelaide Exhibition Hall, the Festival Centre, and the Adelaide Railway Station-Casino. The site requirements and neighboring buildings gave the Convention Centre design an added imperative to be both innovative and sensitive to its surroundings.

The project, completed in collaboration with Adelaide architects Woods-Bagot Pty Ltd., carefully responded to the Adelaide Riverbank Master Plan. Construction began by engineering a steel and concrete span over active rail lines. Per project requirements, trains operated continuously throughout construction. SOM’s ability to work with found space previously considered unbuildable was key to its success in programming, master planning, and providing architectural, design, and engineering services for the project.

In the process of doubling the size of the Adelaide Civic Center, SOM’s program added a new, single-level 4,800-guest exhibition and banquet facility with easily reconfigurable spaces, moveable walls, and other adaptive features. Spatial and programmatic flexibility maximizes the number of potential simultaneous events the Centre is able to host.

The Convention Centre’s lobby features a celebratory, soaring glass curtain wall suspended from the classic shell-form roof and opening onto the riverfront. Building the curtain wall was contingent on finding a solution to the extreme summertime heat—a pressing concern because of the Centre’s north-facing orientation. This problem was solved using special glass designed to modulate solar energy transmission in buildings with large amounts of clear glass.

Taking advantage of the location, the Convention Centre design gives pride of place to new meeting and banquet halls on the River Torrens waterfront, while reorganizing pedestrian flows to capitalize on the expanded access and views created by the Center’s addition. Circulation was enhanced by the placement of a new wintergarden-style atrium that links the new and existing Convention Centre buildings and provides uninterrupted river and garden views, as well as direct pedestrian access from downtown to the river.

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