NGV Community Hall


  • McBride Charles Ryan


‘The Community Hall seeks to expand the vocabulary of architectural expression and engages in the articulation of complex issues, such as the representation of a city\’s culture and identity. The Community Hall for Melbourne Now is a flexible multi-use space that creates a bold statement of inclusivity and egalitarianism at the front door of NGV International. Drawing inspiration from the social and cultural spaces of Victorian communities, Community Hall takes tradition to new heights through cutting-edge architecture and dynamic programming. The space offers a hub of activity positioned at the heart of Melbourne Now.

Key Features


Briefed to seat approximately 140 people and to include a workshop and stage/catwalk, the Community Hall takes the form of a circle – a symbol of gathering since ancient times. The structure is simultaneously diverse and cohesive, embracing multiple ideas to create an eclectic collection of forms, colours and textures, creating a contemporary symbol of Melbourne\’s diverse and multifaceted culture.


The mirrored concertina outer skin refers to creating \’an inclusive Melbourne. The many colours of the panels allude to the multi-cultural composition which now makes up Melbourne\’s population. The onlooker, seeing their own reflection in many colours is invited to open their minds to the many facets of Melbourne \’Now\’ and consider what they contribute to our great city. The colours also reflect the variety that is Melbourne. A city which is ordered yet vibrant; a city coming of age, and yet can boast the \’best\’ of so many things like being \’the world\’s most liveable city\’. A city which never ceases to surprise.


Design is important to Melbourne. The Community Hall tries to incorporate as many stylistic \’cliches\’ as possible, highlighting the influence different cultures and architectural movements have had on Melbourne\’s built form. The use of purple serves as a memory of the role of women in Melbourne\’s society; a reminder to the current generation to recognise the efforts of women who have shaped Melbourne\’s cultural identity, and to think of Melbourne as a city of equal rights.


The Community Hall\’s turf floor refers to \’Green\’ Melbourne – a city of Parks and Gardens. It also refers to our history as the heart of AFL, and the overwhelming passion with which this city holds this national sport. Melbourne is also the first city to have a \’Greens\’ representative in government in the world.


The design for the space is at once iconic and pragmatic. The architecture integrates a broad range of social and cultural references into one seamless arc of inclusion. Set alight with bold colours which can be seen through the famous NGV Waterwall, this stunning new structure is a space with both social and architectural meaning that people will never forget.\’ – Ewan McEoin

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