Hamer Hall is a magnificent project on many levels. In its urban contribution it systematically rearranges itself to restore clarity and vibrancy to this pivotal site, where Melbourne’s CBD meets its cultural heart.
This is a dramatic improvement to the public environment at the edge of the Yarra River and its interface with Princes Bridge. Previously, the public thoroughfare adjacent to and under the bridge was damp, dour and dark. It felt unsafe and the bridge itself was difficult to read. Now the nineteenth-century bridge is elegantly revealed through a new cutaway civic stair, which connects the riverside to St Kilda Road, the bridge and a new terrace over the river. The space beneath has become a lighter, brighter part of Riverbank Promenade. It is now more properly part of the public realm of the Riverbank Promenade.
At the St Kilda Road level the closed drum of Hamer Hall has been made more porous, creating new connections between the lush interior, the street and the upper-level terrace with its amazing views across the river to the city. On the river’s edge, the hermetic “castle” form of Hamer Hall is now skirted by an equally heavy but more permeable and organic form. Designed to “recall the rusticated base of the Roman ruin,” it accommodates a secondary entry to the hall, via the new circle foyer. In form and expression the new work is highly contemporary – and clearly part of the ARM oeuvre. In its materiality (off-form concrete) it is similar to, although distinct from, the original building. This similarity serves to heighten spatial, formal and temporal differences.
This newly active river edge represents a critical shift in the city, but it already feels like it has been there forever.
Read the project review by Conrad Hamann in Architecture Australia.
Products and materials
- Walls and ceilings
- Class 2 off-form concrete to external walls. Elmo Elmotreasure leather wall panels, Bronzeworks bronze-tinted metal panels, concrete render, tinted mirror, coloured stainless steel, gold leaf and factory-applied high-gloss polyurethane panels to internal walls.
- Polished stainless steel, anodized aluminium and patterned interlayer.
- Ground-floor foyer uses RC∞D hand-tufted custom-designed rug insert and Spanish orange and silver grey loop pile insert, Brinton custom Wilton woven cut-pile carpet in Earthern Brown, antique brown granite. Riverside foyer uses honed bluestone, spotted gum timber and Trend Cristallino reconstituted stone. Other foyers use Brinton custom Wilton woven cut-pile carpet matched to original colourway and Persian red travertine to match existing. Auditorium uses brushbox parquetry to match existing, Brinton custom Wilton woven cut-pile carpet matched to original colourway, spotted gum narrow board to stage.
- Lighting supplied by LED Lighting, Endo Lighting Corp, Eagle Lighting, Acdc, Lighting Group, Zumtobel, Clearlight Shows, Erlo, Xenian, Planet Lighting, Klik Systems, Thorn and Bega.
- Kelly low-back chair and Ned large ottoman in Kvadrat Maharam Mohair Supreme Earthern Brown, Albert coffee table with gold mirror and brass-plated frame, Jarvis low-back chair in Kvadrat Maharam Divina Melange 2 orange and light grey, Jarvis low-back 2.0 seater in Kvadrat Maharam Divina Melange 2 dark grey, Bandy coffee table, Milo lounge and small and large Coast ottomans all by Nick Garnham and Rod Carlson for Jardan. Maxalto Elios oval side table by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia, La Santas Teresa Table lamp by Jaime Hayon for Metalarte, Chantilly Ottoman by Inge Sempe for Edra, all from Space Furniture. Mummy chair by Peter Traag for Edra from Space Furniture. Custom Figueras theatre seats with oak frame and Warwick mystere velour fabric in Persimmon.
- Trent custom-built refrigeration. Joinery fabricated by GOSA with high-polish brass fronts. Corian Glacier White worktops. Stone Italiana Super Black reconstituted stone rear counters and tinted mirror. Astra Walker Icon tapware. Zip chilled water fonts. Riverside counters include Baresque Illume in foil-backed orange and yellow.
- Catalano wall-mounted basin and floor-mounted WC from Rogerseller. Astra Walker Icon tapware. Walter Knoll Vola soap dispenser from Dedece. Kyissa partitions. Cotto D’este Kerlite Black Absolute Style tiles on wall from Signorino tiles. Bisazza Opus Romano tiles on floor. Mirrors are custom designed by ARM and fabricated by GOSA.
- Ground-level sculpture is Silence by Robert Owen (sculptor) and Rachel Burke of Electrolight. Velik foyer circle level sculpture is Falling Light by Robert Owen (sculptor) and Rachel Burke of Electrolight. Mobile merchandise stands custom designed by ARM and fabricated by Gamma Doura. Auditorium stalactite lighting custom designed by LDP Sydney.
- Design practice
- ARM Architecture Melbourne
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
- Project Team
- Ian McDougall, Howard Raggatt, Neil Masterton, Peter Bickle, Stephen Davies, Jonothan Cowle, Andrea Wilson, Rhonda Mitchell, Doug Dickson, William Pritchard, Justin Fagnani, Sarah Lake, Sarah Box, Timothy Brookes, Allira Davies, Paul Buckley, Thomas Denham, Matthew Ginnever, Asako Miura, Deborah Rowe, Simon Shiel, Monique Brady, Jason Lee, Ken Billan, Mordechai Toor, Martine de Flander, Mark Raggatt, Tom Marsh, Andrew Ta, Tobi Pederson, Natalie Lysenko, Lee Lambrou, Aaron Poupard, Andrew Lilleyman, Stephen Ashton
PLP Building Surveyors & Consultants,
Acoustics Marshall Day Acoustics, Kirkegaard Associates
Building surveyor PLP Building Surveyors & Consultants
Heritage consultant Bryce Raworth, Philip Goad, Bryce Raworth
Kitchen services consultant MTD Group
Landscaping Taylor Cullity Lethlean Melbourne
Pedestrian modelling Arup Melbourne
Project alliance Southbank Cultural Precinct Redevelopment Project Alliance: Arts Victoria, Major Projects Victoria, Baulderstone, ARM Architecture
Quantity surveyor Rider Levett Bucknall – Melbourne
Specialist lighting Lighting Design Partnership
Structural & building services Aurecon
Theatre technical consultant Schuler Shook
Traffic consultant Cardno
Urban design Peter Elliott Architecture + Urban Design
Wind consultant Vipac
- Site Details
100 St Kilda Road,
Site type Urban
- Project Details
Completion date 2012
Design, documentation 12 months
Construction 24 months
Type Culture / arts, Public / civic