• Adelaide Convention Centre celebrates its 30th year in business with the completion of its two-phase, $397 million expansion
  • Redevelopment project has included the addition of two new buildings, with the Centre’s new East Building to be officially opened today
  • The centrepiece of the new East Building is a state-of-the-art Plenary Hall – a magnificent showcase of innovation and flexibility
  • The expanded Centre is expected to inject an additional $1.92 billion into the State’s economy over the next 25 years
  • Further information available at adelaidecc.com.au

ADELAIDE, Australia (30 August, 2017) – Australia’s first convention centre has been reborn as the nation’s newest, with the completion of the Adelaide Convention Centre’s two-phase $397 million redevelopment. The second and final stage of the redevelopment, the new East Building will be officially opened later today (30 August) by the South Australian Premier, the Hon. Jay Weatherill, MP.

The Adelaide Convention Centre expansion has transformed Adelaide’s skyline with two new buildings and boosted the Centre’s footprint to 20,000sqm of multi-purpose space. Its completion comes as the Centre celebrates its 30th year in business.

“Since opening in 1987, the Convention Centre has been a great South Australian success story,” comments Alec Gilbert, Chief Executive, Adelaide Convention Centre. “Over the past 30 years, the Centre has played host to 1,800 major conferences, welcomed more than six million delegates and visitors, and generated $1.4 million in economic benefit for the state of South Australia. The future looks even brighter, with the expanded venue forecast to inject an additional $1.92 billion into the state’s economy over the next 25 years.”

Design and Construction
Designed by architects from Woods Bagot’s offices in Adelaide and UK-based Larry Oltman from VX3 architects London, the Adelaide Convention Centre’s exterior design showcases a landscape formed over half a billion years ago. While the West Building (which opened in 2015) was inspired by the dramatic layered geology and colour of South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, the East Building – built on the site of the Centre’s original Plenary Building – was inspired by the great granite boulders of the Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island, a fact reflected not only in its shape, but also its colouring.

The design was brought to life by Lendlease, who have enjoyed a long and successful presence in South Australia, investing in the state for over 70 years and delivering many of the state’s iconic buildings. At the height of construction, more than 400 workers were involved in both on and offsite construction, clocking up a combined total of 1.93 million hours to complete the project.

Significantly, the Centre remained fully operational throughout the entire construction period, sustaining employment for the Centre’s 400 staff and ensuring ongoing trade with 500 South Australian suppliers. Over this time, the Centre hosted 370 conferences, delivering $690 million in economic benefit to the state of South Australia. The Centre further supported the local economy during the construction period by spending more than $46 million with South Australian suppliers, of which approximately half was spent with local growers and producers.

Innovation and Flexibility
The completion of the Adelaide Convention Centre’s expansion positions the centre as not only Australia’s newest convention centre, but also its most flexible and technologically advanced. Without question, the centrepiece of the East Building’s innovation and flexibility is its new state-of-the-art Plenary Hall, which has tiered seating for 3,500 or offers 3,000sqm of flat floor space for exhibitions or banquets. Illustrating the Hall’s extreme flexibility, it is capable of being sub-divided into more than 15 different configurations. Defining features include:

  • Tiered, hinged seating, which is used to create a theatre-style auditorium, but when lifted, reveals a flat floor space to accommodate exhibitions or banquets;
  • Operable walls, which can be put in place to subdivide the space, whether in Plenary or flat floor configuration, or retracted to open up the Plenary to full capacity; and,
  • The world’s largest rotating seating drums – two revolving auditoriums capable of seating 320 people each. Set at the back of the Hall, the rotating drums can be used as part of the Plenary or rotated 180 degree in minutes to form two individual theatrettes.

“Our newly expanded facility represents a new breed of convention centre in terms of its innovation and flexibility,” adds Gilbert. “The East Building brings together rotating drums, hinged seating and operable walls in one building for the first time, making it one of the most flexible convention centres in the world, and providing exciting and creative opportunities for event organisers.”

Another special feature of the Plenary includes a spectacular “Starry Night” aerial backdrop. More than 35,000 fibre optic lights are fitted on the underside of the hinged seating, which when lifted, appears as a glittering ‘starry night’.

Additional highlights of the newly expanded Centre include a striking Skyway (elevated walkway) which seamlessly connects the Centre’s three buildings, and Home Ground café court, which is set to launch in November. Home Ground will provide an exciting new dining destination on the Riverbank and an ideal setting for after conference hours networking.

A Positive Outlook
Early response towards the newly expanded Centre has been extremely positive, with 95 conferences already secured for the new venue through until 2020. Collectively, these events will bring more than 71,000 delegates to Adelaide, delivering more than $200 million in economic benefit to South Australia.

The first major event to be held in the newly expanded Centre is the International Astronautical Congress, scheduled 25 – 29 September. The world’s largest annual gathering of space professionals, with more than 3,500 delegates expected to attend, it is the largest event of its type ever hosted in Adelaide. It is also a fitting event for the expanded centre as the venue and city are very much focused on innovation and future possibilities.

 

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About the Adelaide Convention Centre
Set at the heart of Adelaide’s Riverbank precinct, the Adelaide Convention Centre opened as Australia’s first convention centre in 1987. Regarded among the world’s top convention centres, the multi-award winning venue has played host to over 1800 conferences, welcomed more than six million delegates and guests, and delivered in excess of $1.4 billion in economic benefit to the state of South Australia over the past three decades. More: www.adelaidecc.com.au.

Media Information
For further information on the Adelaide Convention Centre’s new East Building, including hi-res images and interviews, please contact Amy Christie, Communications Manager, Adelaide Convention Centre at 8210 6752 or email ua.moc.cmvanull@eitsirhc.yma.