A new era for Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building

MV Royal Exhibition BuildingMuseums Victoria has unveiled a 26-metre-tall Sylph of Spring, adorning the scaffolding over the front of the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building.

This magnificent figure is usually only seen by those inside the building, being a part of a decorative scheme designed by John Ross Anderson for the opening of Federal Parliament in 1901. An allegorical painting found on the interior of the Building’s Dome, she has been reinterpreted and printed on to shade cloth, to beautify the construction phase of the Royal Exhibition Building Protection and Promotion Project.

“The Royal Exhibition Building – one of only three World Heritage listed culture sites in Australia – will soon feature a new façade and rooftop deck offering magnificent views across the Melbourne city skyline,” said Lynley Crosswell, CEO Museums Victoria. “We want the public to be as excited as we are of this transformation.”

“The new scaffold artwork signals the beginning of the Building’s next chapter, spotlighting the opulence of the Building’s interiors and providing a backdrop worthy of the beautiful Carlton Gardens.”

The $20 million Commonwealth-funded project will help to preserve and secure the future of the Royal Exhibition Building. Representing the only Great Hall from a major industrial exhibition to survive the nineteenth century, the Building and the surrounding Carlton Gardens were inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2004.

As the Building’s committed custodians, Museums Victoria have engaged specialist heritage builders HBS Group, architects Lovell Chen and AECOM’s management services for the redevelopment, with project deliverables including restoration works and the reintroduction of the 360-degree Dome Promenade, a popular attraction from the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition and the 1888 Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition.

When complete, visitors will gain access to the Dome via a new lift installed in the same location as the original 1888 Waygood elevator. The attraction will also include an exhibition showcasing unique stories from the life of this remarkable building. It is expected that the project will be completed by early 2020.

For more information, visit: www.museumsvictoria.com.au for details.

Image: Royal Exhibition Building (supplied)