West Gippsland Regional Arts Centre Redevelopment

Client
Baw Baw Shire Council

Architect
Williams Ross Architects

Commissioned by Baw Baw Shire Council and funded by both State and Federal Government, this major upgrade honours the original vision, commitment and investment of all behind the Arts Centre’s growth over the last 30 years. The job which began in 1982 has now been completed, ensuring the Centre will continue to be a leading regional arts centre for the next generation. First planned in the 1970s, the Centre was intended to have 750 or more seats over two levels. Budget constraints at the time saw balcony seating cut from the scope. To structurally support the 165 new balcony seats, a 1.2 metre high beam was constructed in three sections, each weighing 2.5 tonnes, and lifted into position by crane. A new three storey foyer with stairs provides access to the new balcony seating and upper amenities, with other major improvements including upgraded theatrical infrastructure and internal finishes, expanded foyer areas, new foyer cafe and bar and a substantial new landscaped civic forecourt. Other major achievements include improved arrival and accessibility works and saving historical elements of the original building such as the back stage walls covered with messages and signatures from past cast performances and guests.