Helping Melbourne to Attract the World’s Biggest Events

What if we can attract the world’s biggest conferences and events?

In July this year, the AUD350 million expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and broader South Wharf precinct was formally opened, making MCEC the largest convention and exhibition space in Australia.


Completing the South Wharf precinct vision , the expanded MCEC is expected to attract 74,000 international visitors each year, providing a AUD167 million boost to the Victorian economy annually.


Adding 20,000m2 to the now 70,000m2 site, the expanded MCEC features:

  • A 25 per cent increase in events space
  • A new 9,000m2 exhibition hall
  • A multi-purpose 1,000-seat theatre
  • A 450-guest banquet room, café and bar
  • Multiple meeting rooms
  • An outdoor terrace.


In addition, the expanded South Wharf precinct also included a new multi-tiered carpark and a 347-room, Novotel Melbourne South Wharf hotel.


“In what is now a thriving mixed-use precinct, the MCEC expansion is connecting Melbourne’s business, tourism, retail and entertainment sectors,” says Rowan Christensen, Director for Electrical, WSP.


“The opening of the MCEC also marked the conclusion of a 15-year project for us. Engaged by Plenary Group to develop the original MCEC and its surrounding retail, hotel and office buildings as singular projects, we have seen an incredible transformation of the South Wharf precinct.


"Planning for our future cities is always a challenge, however steps taken back in 2005 to ensure the expansion of the MCEC was viable have now come to fruition. The foresight in planning is testament to the overall project team. This is a project that will benefit the community for years to come.”


Highlighting its significance, MCEC was the first project to receive a 6 Star Green ‘World Leadership’ Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. It has also won many architectural, property and sustainability awards, including the Australian Institute of Architects 2010 National Architecture Award and in 2016 was awarded EarthCheck Gold Sustainability Certification.


For the MCEC expansion, as well as the new hotel and multi-tier car park, our team provided services, which included mechanical, electrical, security, fire engineering consulting, structures, civil engineering and architectural lighting design.


Rowan concludes, “It is great to see the vibrant entertainment hub now capable of hosting some of the world’s biggest exhibitions.”


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