The Melbourne Arts Precinct is being transformed 

The Melbourne Arts Precinct is being transformed 

A transformed Arts Precinct for Melbourne, and for Southbank.

Over six years and through a $1.7 billion investment from the Victorian Government into the largest cultural infrastructure project in Australia’s history, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is set to become one of the great creative and cultural destinations in the world.

The Melbourne Arts Precinct in Southbank, set around the banks of the Birrarung/Yarra River, is already a globally significant space of gathering and creativity. It is a place that has long brought people together, from the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people and visiting Kulin Nations over tens of thousands of years, and in recent history, millions of artists, performers, creatives, art enthusiasts and visitors to Melbourne. The precinct has one of the highest concentrations of thriving arts and cultural organisations in the world and is a testament to Australia’s creative endeavours.  

The capital project, the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation, will build The Fox: NGV Contemporary, a new gallery dedicated to contemporary art and design; an expansive garden in the heart of Southbank, and make major upgrades to the Arts Centre Melbourne’s iconic Theatres Building to bring this creative icon into the 21st Century. 

The Melbourne Arts Precinct Corporation (MAP Co) was established by the Victorian Government to lead the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation in partnership with NGV, Arts Centre Melbourne, Development Victoria, Creative Victoria, and the many stakeholders across the arts precinct.

Director and CEO of MAP Co Katrina Sedgwick said the importance of the project in shaping the city couldn’t be underestimated. 

“This is the largest creative capital project ever undertaken in Australia’s history and when complete, will shine even more of a light on Australia’s incredible creative talent and serve as an enviable tourism drawcard for Melbourne,” Ms Sedgwick said.


It is a transformative project that will create a new era of engagement and opportunity within the precinct for local residents, businesses, creatives and visitors to Melbourne.



Works are well underway to upgrade Arts Centre Melbourne. For the first time since it opened in 1984, the State Theatre auditorium is undergoing its most significant refurbishment, providing greater accessibility, new seating, as well as flooring and other amenity improvements.”

These upgrades will improve the audience experience and give more Victorians the opportunity to enjoy live performance in the venue, while enhancing back-of-house facilities to support Australian and international companies to present their best work. The refurbishment will also see two new hospitality spaces built into the western and northern façades of the Theatres Building.

The Fox: NGV Contemporary will be built on Southbank Boulevard and become the largest gallery dedicated to contemporary art and design in Australia and one of the most significant in the world. Once complete, The Fox: NGV Contemporary will be a global landmark that will act as a major drawcard for national and international visitation. The new contemporary gallery will enable the NGV to share internationally renowned works of art and exhibitions, as well as boost opportunities for Victorian artists and designers.

A cornerstone of the transformation project will be the new 18,000 square metre urban garden filled with biodiverse planting, public art and places for rest, which will connect Arts Centre Melbourne, NGV International and The Fox: NGV Contemporary to the broader arts precinct in Southbank. This garden will substantially increase the amount of vital green and open space in Southbank and contribute to a new sense of place in the Melbourne Arts Precinct.

Katrina Sedgwick also commented on the project’s commitment to elevating First Nations’ creatives, culture, and storytelling.

“We are working closely with the Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, to identify ways Traditional Owner and other First Nations stories will inform aspects of the design, in the mix of planting, programming and activation,” she said.

NGV International and Arts Centre Melbourne remain open throughout construction, and visitors can continue to enjoy their performances, exhibitions, and events.

To find out more and stay up-to-date on the transformation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct, visit:


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