Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design

Sidney Myer Music Bowl Refurbishment by Gregory Burgess Architects

This is an article from the Architecture Australia archives and may use outdated formatting

Jury Citation

This project brings one of Melbourne’s iconic, internationally known, landmarks of the late 1950s into the twenty-first century. The much-loved, heritage-listed Sydney Myer Music Bowl has been refurbished with enormous skill and care, resulting in a vastly improved public venue. This gem in the park now includes modern amenities, technologies and facilities, while retaining its external integrity.

All the visible new and restorative work – to both the tensile structure and the landscape – honours and generously contributes to the original structure of the Kings Domain parklands. The decision to place most facilities unobtrusively below ground was wise, while the decision to lay a light hand on the surrounding landscape was inspired.

The addition of side balconies, and of huge trusses to carry sound equipment and the regrading of the lawn, are so subtle as to be barely noticeable. More than a restoration, this is a terrific rebirth.

This work transcends boundaries and would have competed well in other award categories, but its prime benefit is in making a public place within Melbourne’s major cultural precinct, and thus continuing the memory and use of that space.

For further coverage see Architecture Australia vol 91 no 1 (January/February 2002), also at


Gregory Burgess Architects
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Project Team
Gregory Burgess, Peter Ryan, Susan Leuner, Sophie Herel, Kate Douglas, Tom Kinloch
Access consultant Morris-Walker
Acoustic engineer Arup Melbourne
Building surveyor Gardner Group
Civil and structural engineer Arup Melbourne
Conservation Allom Lovell & Associates
Construction manager Hooker Cockram
Entertainment technology Entertech
Geotechnical engineer Golders and Associates
Landscape architect Taylor Cullity Lethlean Melbourne
Mechanical and electrical engineers Arup Melbourne
Original architect Barry Patten
Programming consultant Flagstaff Consulting Group
Project manager Major Projects Victoria
Quantity surveyor Donald Cant Watts Corke
Surveyor Fisher Stewart
Site details
Location Botanical Gardens,  Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Category Commercial / public buildings
Type Public / civic
Project Details
Status Built
Client Victoria Arts Centre Trust



Published online: 1 Nov 2002


Architecture Australia, November 2002

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