$397m Convention Centre redevelopment complete as East Building opens

07 September 2017

The Adelaide Convention Centre redevelopment is officially complete, paving the way for thousands of conventions and events, and 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 $397 million redevelopment – is opening almost 30 years to the day 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 redeveloped Adelaide Convention Centre showcases the State’s building and construction industry, with head contractor Lendlease awarding more than $385 million of contracts to local businesses since work began in 2011, supporting more than 400 construction jobs.

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

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.

The first major event to be held in the new East Building will be the 68th International Astronautical Congress in September, expected to attract more than 3,500 delegates including tech billionaire Elon Musk – the largest event of its kind ever held in Adelaide.


Stage One of the redevelopment – the West Building and Montefiore Boulevard – opened to the public in March 2015.

While the West Building’s design was inspired by the dramatic layered geology and colour of the nearby Flinders Ranges, the East Building was inspired by the great granite boulders of the Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island.

Since work began on the Convention Centre expansion in 2011, approximately 97 per cent of contracts have been awarded to local businesses amounting to more than $385 million.

Local businesses involved in the construction include:

More than 400 workers completed almost two million labour hours throughout the $397 million expansion project. The Convention Centre is one of more than $12 billion of major infrastructure projects already underway or due to start this year, supporting 5,800 jobs – 3,800 in road, rail and construction alone.

Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill

South Australia led the nation when we established Australia’s first Convention Centre in 1987 with the Plenary Building, and 30 years on we are celebrating the renewal of the Convention Centre with the completion of the $397 million redevelopment.

This expansion and redevelopment of the Convention Centre establishes another premium Riverbank venue for events and conferences, and also provides yet another reason for people to come and visit our great State.

Our investment in the expansion and renewal of the Adelaide Convention Centre is expected to bring an extra $1.92 billion into the State’s economy over the next 25 years.

Together with other investment – such as the half-a-billion dollar Adelaide Oval redevelopment, and the almost one-billion dollars being spent on the Festival Plaza, SKYCITY Casino and Adelaide Festival Centre, our Government has reinvented the Riverbank precinct into a world-class destination.

Quotes attributable to Tourism Minister Leon Bignell

Already 95 conference events have been secured for the Adelaide Convention Centre between now and 2020, bringing more than 71,000 delegates to Adelaide.

These events will generate some 244,000 bed nights and deliver $200 million in economic benefits to the State.

On average, business travellers spend more than $600 each per day, which is three times that of a regular tourist.

Many of the 95 events have been won with the assistance of the State Government’s Convention Bid Fund.

Quotes attributable to Convention Centre Chief Executive Alec Gilbert

The opening of the East Building today doesn’t simply mark the completion of the expansion of the Convention Centre, it marks the start of a new era for our 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.

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.

Quotes attributable to Lendlease Building General Manager SA Chris Leopold

We’ve had the privilege of delivering the original Adelaide Convention Centre buildings in various stages over three decades, so to be able to celebrate the opening of the current stage, which extends and complements the adjacent facilities so beautifully, is very satisfying indeed.

Working in partnership with the Convention Centre, DPTI, and local contractors, our team has worked incredibly hard to steer this complex project to completion. In doing so, they overcame a number of significant construction challenges – building directly above a train station and operational rail network being foremost among them.

We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to deliver – to the Adelaide Convention Centre, as well as their end users, including artists and patrons.

In addition to reflecting the skill and dedication of the combined delivery team, the official opening of the East Building is also symbolic of our ongoing commitment to creating special and enduring places for all South Australians.




Source:  South Australian Government - www.premier.sa.gov.au

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