The Victorian government has recently unveiled an ambitious plan to revamp Geelong’s waterfront by constructing the Geelong Convention Center, a state-of-the-art convention and exhibition facility. Valued at a staggering $293 million, this landmark project is set to transform a 1.6-hectare site currently occupied by a car park into a bustling hub for conferences, events, and exhibitions. Construction is already underway, with preliminary site works already in progress. The Geelong Convention Center and the accompanying hotel are slated for completion by 2026, marking a significant milestone for the city.
Woods’ Bagot Principal Bruno Mendes remarked, “The Geelong Convention Center will serve as a venue for promoting the Bellarine Peninsula as a whole and pique visitors’ interest in Geelong’s extensive artistic heritage. To fully take advantage of its waterfront location, it faces Corayo Bay and the Wurdi Youang mountains. The center will continue Geelong’s history as a UNESCO City of Design by providing valuable resources to its residents.”
Geelong Convention Center: A Visionary Project to Transform Geelong’s Waterfront
To bring this grand vision to life, the government has appointed a consortium led by Plenary Conventions, a renowned organization with expertise in delivering large-scale projects of this nature. The consortium also includes Woods Bagot, Built, BGIS, and Quintessential Equity, each bringing their unique expertise to the table.
The Geelong Convention Center will boast an impressive array of facilities to cater to various needs. Its key features will be a 1000-seat venue, two spacious exhibition spaces, well-appointed meeting rooms, top-notch convention facilities, flexible event spaces, and retail and hospitality areas. The development will also include a 200-room hotel, ensuring visitors have convenient accommodation options nearby.
Recognizing the importance of preserving cultural heritage, the design team will collaborate with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to develop a design narrative inspired by the rich stories and songlines of the Wadawurrung people. This approach ensures the center pays homage to the area’s indigenous heritage, creating an inclusive and culturally significant space.
Architecturally, the building will be a sight to behold, featuring ceramic glazed tiles that mimic the tonality and texture of the nearby bay. This thoughtful touch will not only enhance the center’s visual appeal but also tie it harmoniously with its picturesque waterfront surroundings.
As the crown jewel of the $500-million Geelong City Deal, the project enjoys strong financial support from various levels of government. The Australian government has pledged $30 million, while the Victorian government is contributing an impressive $260 million. The City of Greater Geelong is also chipping in with $3 million, demonstrating its commitment to the project’s success.
Once complete, the Geelong Convention Center promises to be a hub of economic and cultural activity, attracting nationwide business events, trade shows, and exhibitions. This visionary project is poised to elevate Geelong’s status as a premier destination for conferences and events and create lasting positive impacts on the local economy and community.