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Convention Centre redevelopment complete as East Building opens


The $397 million Adelaide Convention Centre redevelopment is officially complete, paving the way for thousands of conventions and events which are expected to generate almost $2 billion dollars in economic activity and support 1,200 ongoing jobs.

The Stage Two East Building – the final element of the redevelopment – opened today almost 30 years after the original Convention Centre opened.

The East Building replaces the Original Plenary Building, the first convention centre in Australia, and follows the completion of the West Building in July 2015.

The centrepiece of the new East Building is a state-of-the-art 3,000sqm Plenary Hall. With a 3,500 seat capacity, the Hall can be divided into more than 15 configurations to accommodate a wide range of conferences, exhibitions, banquets and other events.

The facility features the world’s largest rotating seating platforms, which can be rotated 180 degrees within minutes. It also features tiered hinged seating stored in the roof, which can be lowered to convert the room into a theatre-style auditorium, along with operable walls, which can be used to subdivide the space or retracted to open up the Plenary to full capacity.

Stage Two of the redevelopment also includes an 800sqm paved plaza fronting North Terrace, providing a striking entrance as well as an ideal space for trade or public displays.

Other highlights of the East Building include a spectacular aerial backdrop of more than 35,000 fibre optic lights creating a sparkling ‘starry night’ for banquet events; an elevated walkway connecting the East, Central and West buildings and providing panoramic views of the Riverbank; and a new café court Home Ground, scheduled to open in November 2017.

Convention Centre Chief Executive Alec Gilbert said the opening of the East Building doesn’t simply mark the completion of the expansion of the Convention Centre, it marks the start of a new era for the world-class, state-of-the-art facility.

“The East Building brings together rotating drums, hinged seating and operable walls in one building for the first time, making it one of the most flexible convention centres in the world,” said Mr Gilbert.

“We will be hosting a series of public tours in early September providing the opportunity for people who have watched this amazing building take shape to tour the East Building and learn more about its striking design features.”

Head contractor Lendlease awarded more than $385 million of contracts to local businesses since work began in 2011, supporting more than 400 construction jobs. Local businesses involved in the construction include:

  • Samaras Group – steel fabrication
  • Cladding & Roofing – facade
  • Tyrone Electrical Services Pty Ltd – electrical
  • AG O’Connor Pty Ltd – mechanical services
  • Jordan Plumbing – plumbing
  • Trojan Fire Protection – fire systems
  • Ceiling and Walling Company
  • Woods Bagot – architect
  • Bestec – services engineers
  • Rider Levett Bucknall – cost managers
  • Outside Ideas – public realm works
  • Reliable Glass – glazing
  • Tri-Metal Engineering Pty Ltd – metalwork
  • Turner & Townsend Thinc – Project Managers.

Together, the East, Central and West Buildings deliver 20,000sqm of multi-purpose event space, offering sweeping views of the Riverbank precinct.

The first major event to be held in the new East Building will be the 68th International Astronautical Congress in September. It is expected to attract more than 3,500 delegates and is the largest event of its kind ever held in Adelaide.

Image Caption: The Adelaide Convention Centre’s East Building’s design was inspired by the great granite boulders of the Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island.

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