Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre

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The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is the name given to two adjacent buildings next to the Yarra River in South Wharf, an inner-city suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Owner and manager of the venues is the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust.

The Melbourne Exhibition Centre Trust was created in August 1994 with the responsibility of overseeing the construction and development of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. On 5 February 1997 the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust began, replacing the previous trust with the added scope of the Melbourne Convention Centre, formerly called the World Congress Centre Melbourne. In August 1997 the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust became owner and venue manager of both the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and the Melbourne Convention Centre. The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust is also responsible for managing, promoting, and the use of the Royal Exhibition Building in the Carlton Gardens. As a government-owned trust, The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust is responsible to the Minister for Tourism.

Melbourne Exhibition Centre
The Melbourne Exhibition Centre was opened on 14 February 1996, and hosts thousands of large exhibitions, some being annual events. It has a pillarless floor space of 30,000 square metres, making it the largest pillarless floor space in the southern hemisphere. This building is also known as "Jeff's Shed" after the then premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett, intervened to have the building used as a convention centre, rather than as a museum as originally intended. The building was designed by Denton Corker Marshall, an architectural firm responsible for many of Melbourne's larger buildings through the early 1990s, and features their characteristic "blade" entrance. In 1998 a covered footbridge was erected between the Exhibition and Convention centres, parallel to the Spencer Street Bridge.

Melbourne Convention Centre
The old Convention Centre on the opposite side of the Yarra River was opened in May 1990 and has hosted thousands of conventions and meetings. The new Convention Centre, on land adjacent to the Exhibition Centre, was completed in 2009. At a cost of A$1 billion, the development consists of a 5541 seat Plenary Hall that can be divided into three separate theatres, 32 meeting rooms of various sizes, a grand banquet room as well as a Hilton hotel, office, residential and retail space. It was developed by a consortium led by Brookfield Multiplex and Plenary Group and designed by Larry Oltmanns. The new centre uses a range of features in order to achieve a 6 Star Green Star environmental rating and to become the first convention centre in the world with that rating. The architects for the development were NH Architecture and Woods Bagot. The new Melbourne Convention Centre was awarded the Australian Construction Achievement Award in 2010.


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