Flying the Rainbow Flag - Here is Australia's first purpose-built LGBTIQ+ centre

“We’re proud to have helped create such an important space for Melbourne’s LGBTIQ+ community. The delivery of this architecturally and culturally significant project exemplified our team’s expertise in construction and dedication to supporting communities,” said Richard Hansen, Victorian State Manager of Hansen Yuncken.

The Victorian Pride Centre is unlike any other in Australia – if not the world. With barely a straight edge in sight, the bespoke building overlooks Port Phillip Bay and the city skyline. Spanning 6,000m2, the centre will be home to 15 organisations, a communal ground floor of shared workspaces, a theatrette, a gallery, the Australian Queer Archives, and a rooftop garden.

The project’s rainbow-inspired design, many intricate details and highly constrained site created numerous challenges, in addition to those presented by COVID-19 restrictions.

Richard added, “It’s the second-largest building of its kind in the world and there are many elements that required innovative approaches to realise the architect’s vision.

“For example, our team undertook extensive prototyping and digital modelling to test acoustics and waterproofing before the installation of the statement angled panels and windows. A large volume of Glass Reinforced Concrete and precast curved elements were among the challenges we solved to deliver the sweeping curves of the building you see today,” he added.

Hansen Yuncken navigated several limitations posed by the size of the block and COVID-19 restrictions to ensure public access during construction, including the complex installation of the ‘eggshell’ feature in the atrium, which took inspiration from an emu egg to celebrate the Boon Wurrung First Nations Indigenous people and history of the area.

Coupled with clear, compliant, and collaborative management of the site, Hansen Yuncken worked in partnership with the Victorian Pride Centre to meet all building regulations, minimise local disturbance during construction and deliver a range of bespoke design elements including:

  • Extensive curved precast feature panels
  • 41 x individually curved windows (both circular and elliptical)
  • 720 x panels of glass
  • 17 x Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) vaults
  • 7 layers of construction to achieve the Eastern façade detail
  • 1,000+ individually hand worked aluminium cladding panels
  • 1 silver-top ash log harvested in Gippsland and repurposed as feature timber panelling
  • Feature exposed spotted gum stair and seating platforms at ground floor level open to the level 4 roof skylight