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Key details

Southbank, Melbourne
Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country 

Creative Victoria
Melbourne Arts Precinct Corporation (MAP Co)

Project partners
National Gallery Victoria
Arts Centre Melbourne

Contact email





Development Victoria is delivering the transformation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct, Australia’s largest cultural infrastructure project, on behalf of the Victorian Government through Melbourne Arts Precinct Corporation (MAP Co), in partnership with Arts Centre Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria and Creative Victoria.

The $1.7 billion project will transform Melbourne's creative precinct - attracting visitors, creating jobs and establishing creative spaces and a vibrant new urban garden in the heart of the city.

The Melbourne Arts Precinct transformation project will deliver: 

  • The Fox: NGV Contemporary gallery 
  • a new 18,000 square metre urban garden filled with biodiverse planting, public art and places for rest 
  • more space for outdoor art and performances  
  • new connections into and through the arts precinct  
  • improved all-abilities access  
  • new food and beverage spaces  
  • better rehearsal facilities to support our performing arts sector 
  • a new loading dock 
  • significant upgrades to Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres Building (under the Spire)

The area is of great significance to our First Nation Peoples and we’re talking with and listening to the traditional owners of the land, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, to promote and share their stories about connections to their land.

To help us better understand the current noise levels of the project area, we are undertaking acoustic monitoring. The monitoring will involve the use of both hand-held devices and noise monitoring equipment placed in different locations. This data will help us keep noise impacts to a minimum throughout the project.

The Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation Project

Key projects

The urban garden is 18,000 square metres of public parkland in the heart of Melbourne, which will connect Arts Centre Melbourne, NGV International and The Fox: NGV Contemporary. It will be home to a range of biodiverse plants, creating an ever-changing and seasonal environment for all to enjoy.

This urban garden will be designed by a local and international team, led by Melbourne design practice HASSELL, in partnership with New York’s SO-IL and world-renowned horticulturalists Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough. 


As part of Arts Centre Melbourne’s redevelopment, the State Theatre auditorium will undergo its most significant refurbishment since it opened in 1984. The upgrade will provide greater accessibility and new seating, as well as flooring and air-conditioning improvements to increase audience comfort. Technology at the theatre will be upgraded with new state-of-the-art lighting and broadcast infrastructure bringing the theatre into the 21st century.

Upgrades will be made to the back-of-house facilities, including an expanded underground Loading Dock, a new flexible rehearsal space and studio, and an event space.

Two new food and beverage spaces will be built into the western and northern facades of the Theatres Building (under the Spire).


The Fox: NGV Contemporary will be the largest gallery dedicated to contemporary art and design in Australia. Once completed, it will comprise of an overall area of 30,000 square metres. Of this, more than 13,000 square metres will be dedicated display space for art and design, including exhibition galleries and an expansive rooftop terrace.

The winning concept design is by Angelo Candalepas and Associates, who will lead a team of Australian, Victorian and Melbourne based firms to design The Fox: NGV Contemporary.

Internal works will take place at NGV International to ensure it can continue to operate during the construction of The Fox: NGV Contemporary. 



The project area is within the Melbourne Arts Precinct in Southbank. The urban garden will connect NGV International, Arts Centre Melbourne and The Fox: NGV Contemporary.  



The Fox: NGV Contemporary design announced

Early works started 


Major upgrades to Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres Building (under the Spire) commence


77 Southbank (site of The Fox: NGV Contemporary) deconstruction 

State Theatre works commence April 2024

Major upgrades to the Theatres Building continue

Construction of The Fox: NGV Contemporary commences

Work on the urban garden commences


Project complete 

Who to contact about this project?

For more information about the project, or to provide feedback please contact us at:

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Project works update

Early works on the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation started in July 2022. These works have included the relocation and reconnection of existing services and infrastructure such as power, water, sewerage and communications. Depending on the location of services, some of these works may be completed in nearby streets. Impacted residents will be contacted directly by service providers.

Early works for the Arts Centre Melbourne upgrades have finished, making way for the main works to begin.

Arts Centre Melbourne, NGV International and The Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre will remain open for business throughout all the works.

Read the latest construction updates on our resources page.  

Sturt/Kavanagh Street intersection closure

For the safety of staff and members of the public, the Sturt/Kavanagh Street intersection has been permanently closed to pedestrians from Wednesday 15 November.

Arts Centre Melbourne’s carpark is no longer accessible to pedestrians via the intersection. Pedestrians can access the carpark from inside either Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres Building or NGV International, via the Southbank Boulevard exits of the carpark, or from the stairwell on Arts Centre Melbourne’s forecourt near NGV International on St Kilda Road.

Vehicles are still able to access Arts Centre Melbourne’s carpark from Kavanagh Street. Exit is via Southbank Boulevard only until early next year.

Pedestrians can walk to St Kilda Road via the footbridge on Level 4 of the Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre during the building’s opening hours.

The footbridge is currently accessible from 6am to 1am Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 11pm on Sunday.

What to expect:

  • Hoarding and wayfinding signage shows you the safe walking routes.
  • Workers and large vehicles/machines are working in the intersection. Traffic managers are in place to guide vehicles into Arts Centre Melbourne’s car park and the loading dock.
  • A new route has been set up for vehicles and pedestrians who require access to the NGV loading dock.

Sturt Street traffic changes

In March 2023, Sturt Street was permanently closed to the public between City Road and Southbank Boulevard to the public. This allows us to build the decking structure that will support the 18,000 square metre urban garden, new back of house facilities for Arts Centre Melbourne, and improved shared services for Arts Centre Melbourne, NGV International and The Fox: NGV Contemporary.

Arts Centre Melbourne and The Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre car parks are still accessible via Kavanagh Street. Only authorised vehicles have access to the Sturt Street loading docks. 

This map shows the current public access routes.

Visit our resources page for all the latest construction updates, including the Sturt Street closure. 

Works behind Arts Centre Melbourne

Works are continuing inside the hoarding behind Arts Centre Melbourne within the following operating hours.

  • Monday to Friday – 7am to 7pm
  • Saturday – 8am to 3pm

Noisy works will conclude 30 minutes before matinee performances at Arts Centre Melbourne. These typically occur on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

At times, we may need to work outside of these hours. If night or Sunday works are required, we’ll be in contact with directly impacted residents. 


Works at NGV International 

We are conducting works inside NGV International to ensure it can remain operating throughout the construction of The Fox: NGV Contemporary.


Other works 

What is happening in Dodds Street, Southbank?

City of Melbourne has commenced the Dodds Street Linear Park project, converting the road in Dodds Street between Grant Street and Southbank Boulevard into public open space. Landscaping work began in January 2023 and is anticipated to be completed by the end of December 2023.

Find out more about this project on City of Melbourne’s website.

Updated on 13 November 2023