The designs and name of the much-anticipated Geelong Convention and Event Centre have been revealed.
What has served as a carpark in the centre of Geelong’s waterfront precinct will be transformed into a central place for the community to come together, with work underway on what will be known as the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre.
The designs and name have been revealed, paying homage to what was once a place for Wadawurrung people to gather - known as baierr.
The centre will host a range of events from large corporate, sporting and entertainment events to international music and trade shows, through to public exhibitions.
The Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (WTOAC) has gifted the name Nyaal Banyul to the precinct and is working closely with Plenary Conventions to ensure Wadawurrung culture and storytelling is central to the project.
Elder Corrina Eccles from the Corporation says that after much consideration the name was chosen to encourage people to take a moment to appreciate the landscapes of Wadawurrung Country.
'The name Nyaal means open your eyes, and the second part of the name is Banyul - which means hills.'
'We ask everyone to open their eyes to the hills,' she says.
Bruno Mendes is the Principal Architect at Woods Bagot, the architect partners within the Plenary Conventions consortia. The project consortium includes Plenary Group, Built, Woods Bagot, BGIS and Quintessential Equity.
Bruno says that Wadawurrung culture will be at the forefront of the entire precinct with the corporation working alongside the consortia to bring the project to life.
'We had 4 key narrative pillars when approaching our design and the first one was really a point about responding to country,' Bruno says.
'We've tried to design the project and the precinct first and foremost responding to place and making sure that the Wadawurrung narratives and values are really incorporated into the project,' he adds.
A big part of this is celebrating the beautiful landscapes that surround the precinct, which includes the Western Beach cliffs, Wurdi Youang (You Yangs), the Anakie Youang to the north, the Bellawiyn (Bellarine) to the east, the Fyansford hill to the west and the Barrabul (Barrabool) hills to the south.
The designs include the convention centre, dining, and retail spaces, a public plaza and a hotel under the Crown Plaza name.
Bruno says he is really excited to see how the public plaza brings the precinct and the community together.
'This will be a new gathering place and really an extension of the waterfront in Geelong.'
The Victorian Government is investing more than $260 million to build the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre as part of the Geelong City Deal, with the Australian Government contributing $30 million and the City of Greater Geelong contributing $3 million.
It’s expected to be complete by 2026, create 600 jobs and attract visitors and events from all over the globe.
To find out more visit: Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre.