Melbourne Recital Centre

  • World-class acoustic design, inspired by the acoustical excellence of Vienna’s Grosser Musikvereinsaal and the clarity and intimacy of London’s Wigmore Hall.
  • Expected to be ranked amongst the world’s great performance spaces for its uncompromised acoustic, architecture and artistic programme.

A missing link in Melbourne’s cultural life has been filled with the February 2009 opening of the Melbourne Recital Centre. Located in the burgeoning Southbank arts precinct, the centre is the result of a rigorous three-year design phase and two years of construction.

Arup’s team provided the acoustics and theatre planning services, as well as theatre technical systems advice for the project. Design input has come from Arup offices around Australasia, as well as from international offices, including Cambridge and London.

Fusion of architecture and acoustics

The fusion of architecture and acoustic design throughout the development of Elisabeth Murdoch Hall has produced a visually and aurally exciting hall. The geometry of the traditional 'shoe-box' shaped hall has been enhanced to provide greater acoustic intimacy and improved sightlines for the entire audience.

The interior is clad in Australian hoop pine with pixellated surfaces that enhance the timbre and blending of instruments. The acoustic design was inspired by the acoustical excellence of Vienna’s Grosser Musikvereinssaal and the clarity and intimacy of London’s 500-seat Wigmore Hall.

Elisabeth Murdoch Hall

The showpiece 1,000-seat Elisabeth Murdoch Hall was named after one of Australia’s leading arts benefactors and was officially opened with a gala concert on her 100th birthday.

The centre is expected to be ranked amongst the world’s great halls for its uncompromised acoustic, architecture and artistic programme.

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Project featured in the Design Yearbook 2009
  • Exterior of Melbourne Recital Centre. Credit Phillip Hyatt.Open gallery

    The centre is the result of a rigorous three-year design phase and two years of construction.

  • Interior of Melbourne Recital Centre auditorium. Credit Phillip Hyatt.Open gallery

    The interior timber panelling is faceted and shaped to provide reflective ledges and sound diffusion.

  • Arup's Raj Patel discusses design performance spaces using the Sound Lab.Play video

    Watch: Designing performing arts spaces with Arup's SoundLab.