VISUAL Arts Centre . Geelong

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Hassell . photos: © Rory Gardiner . + archdaily

Geelong Arts Centre’s $38.5 million redevelopment has opened to the public with a new Ryrie Street entrance set in a striking modern façade providing an exciting new experience for visitors from across the city of Geelong, the region and beyond. As the only state-owned arts centre in Victoria outside of Melbourne, this destination will also serve the needs of a growing creative and cultural community.


The design seamlessly blends the old and the new, introducing a modern, translucent form that dramatically reveals a once-hidden heritage church. This form sits above a new foyer and forecourt, projecting out into Ryrie Street to establish a strong civic presence and more fluid connection to the surrounding area. Just as importantly, it provides universal access to the Playhouse Theatre and studios – making Geelong Arts Centre a cultural hub that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Inside the building, the design carves out a wide range of communal and creative spaces, including two new levels of foyer, a bar area, state-of-the-art rehearsal studios and co-working spaces for arts organisations to work collaboratively. Connected by a grand, curving staircase, the new ground floor and balcony foyer service The Playhouse theatre, as well as offering a unique public space for the local Geelong community.