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Stage 1 Adelaide Convention Centre transformation under construction

Woods Bagot’s Adelaide studio is currently delivering the transformation of the AUD$210m Stage 1 Adelaide Convention Centre Redevelopment from rail yard to landmark building.


Installation of a galvanised steel rain-screen has allowed the first fix of the interior walls at the lower levels of the building, providing the public an impression of the dramatic form of the finished building. The eye-catching rain-screen has been installed as a custom-folded profile to provide a modular support for the stepped facade cladding. The facade is inspired by the folded, fractured and weathered landscape of the South Australian outback. Completion of the final cladding is due by August 2014, however, the lowest levels of the six storey extension are already being occupied by the client, who is maintaining full operational capacity for the duration of the project.


When complete, the Adelaide Convention Centre will be one of the world’s most innovative convention centres, with Stage 1 providing an additional 4,200m² of exhibition space that features a fully adjustable ceiling and fully mobile, fully reconfigurable, raked seating to cater for up to 3,000 patrons. The Stage 1 addition provides fourteen new meeting rooms including a Grand Ballroom with panoramic views across Adelaide’s parklands and riverbank precinct. The extension is designed to operate as a stand-alone convention centre and also to work in conjunction with the existing and Stage 2 buildings to form a single, large venue.


A major challenge for the Stage 1 team was to construct a rigid, long-span multipurpose exhibition space 1.5m above Adelaide’s main railway station whilst maintaining functionality of the rail network. The construction phase of the redevelopment has also been coordinated with the electrification of the metropolitan rail network. Adding to the complexity was a requirement to host and conceal a bank of cooling towers serving the immediate commercial precinct in the roof space above the exhibition halls.


The site was serviced by two tower cranes until February this year. The first crane and 76m boom was removed following the completion of the roof in the north of the site. The remaining tower crane and 86m boom were dismantled in early April, marking a significant milestone for the project. The next major milestone will be the handover of functional meeting rooms later this year.


The AUD$350m Adelaide Convention Centre Redevelopment is part of an AUD$3bn investment in the Adelaide CBD north west fringe, with other projects including SAHMRI, a new hospital, sports stadium, and biomedical health precinct.

During the project journey a number of Woods Bagot studios have been involved, from: Adelaide, London (interiors), New York, and San Francisco with specialist modelling the during development phase.