Southbank to host new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

The University of Melbourne in partnership with the Victorian Government is set to build a new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music next door to the Melbourne Recital Centre on Sturt Street in Southbank.

Located in an area that has seen a large amount of cultural and media investment in the past decade, the new Conservatorium will be built adjacent to the VCA campus at 33 Sturt Street on land currently owned by the Victorian Government.

The University of Melbourne is set to enter into a long-term lease of the public land and the development is valued at $105.5 million. The Victorian Government is tipping it will generate $350 million for the state.

The architect responsible for the design as depicted above, John Wardle Architects, has this to say of the new MCM on its website:

Outwardly focused and inviting, the MCM aims to balance the singular concentration required of students with the camaraderie of engaging with others. The building makes a place to rub shoulders with fellow music students, and the artistic milieu of the wider campus and precinct.

Multiple vantage points in the new MCM allow for appreciating the inner workings of music education. The learning and rehearsal spaces, both small and large, are interspersed with bell-shaped portholes, hinged panels and disguised windows that generously exhibit the activity within. A large oculus window into the ground floor orchestral rehearsal space unlocks the traditional vault of music education to reveal its inner realm.

John Wardle Architects

Ding dong, another surface car park is gone

Currently wasting away as a surface car park, the site, located opposite the ABC and one of the original gated communities of Southbank, will also feature a new public space that will link Dodds and Sturt streets.

The new public space will be framed by the overhanging 400-seat auditorium which will protrude southwards from the seven + mezzanine level building.

In a media release the Deputy Premier, James Merlino, said "the Conservatorium will bring students from around Victoria, Australia and the world, giving them the skills for the rest of their career. Southbank is already home to an extraordinary concentration of top calibre arts training facilities, as well as the best art galleries and performance venues in the country."

The new Conservatorium is set to open for students in 2019.

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