Community Hall

Client: National Gallery of Victoria
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Co-ordinates: 37°49’1.38″S 144°58’11.928”E
Status: Built
Year: 2023
Project Team: BoardGrove Architects, NGV Exhibition Team
Photography: Eugene Hyland
Words: BoardGrove Architects

event space  gallery  installation  performance space  public space  recreation  temporary structure  theatre exhibition  

Community Hall is one of the flagship spaces within the NGV’s 2023 Melbourne Now exhibition, which celebrates Melbourne’s current contemporary art, architecture and design.

Designed to host a variety of event types; from performance art, to film, talks, and interactive workshops, the design of the space needed to have flexibility for these events whilst maintaining a strong sense of presence and identity. 

The resulting design breaks down the formality of the rectilinear exhibition space by introducing a sweeping curved structure that acts as a backdrop to the space. Opening to the wider circulation area of the main Melbourne Now exhibition entry the curve draws the visitor into the space, like a big open-armed hug, a welcoming and inclusive formal gesture. Its positioning and colour makes the space feel activated and enriched when no event is occurring.

Designed in mind with the experience of sitting in an intimate theatre, the canopy above provides a sense of containment for the spectators, and focuses the view towards the central apex of the arc where the varying events occur. The repetitious bleacher type seating has been designed as flat pack modules for ease of storage after the life of the exhibition and for use in future NGV events.

Discreetly hidden behind the curve is an AV control desk with clear sight lines through the structure to the performance area. This area also acts as a discreet storage area for the event related furniture – work tables, bean bags, stools.

event space  gallery  installation  performance space  public space  recreation  temporary structure  theatre exhibition