Geelong Arts Centre Redevelopment

The Geelong Arts Centre is Australia’s largest regional arts centre and sits at the heart of the city’s burgeoning cultural precinct.

Geelong Arts Centre Little Malop Street Redevelopment is located on the lands of the Wadawurrung People.

With the completion of the $140m ARM Architecture-designed third and final stage of its redevelopment, the building now stands as a shining symbol of Geelong’s revival, reinvigorating the city as a vibrant hub of arts and culture.

ARM’s design reimagines the traditional idea of a theatre by eschewing the conventional black box hidden behind an imposing façade. Instead, it embraces openness, transparency, and a delightful lack of pretension, inviting a fun and engaging experience for all.

In keeping with the wider precinct’s campus-like layout, the centre has been designed as a collection of captivating destinations, each with its own unique design narrative. These spaces seamlessly connect new and existing facilities, forming a dynamic pathway from Ryrie Street to Little Malop Street.

The site is right opposite our much-loved Geelong Library and Heritage Centre.

“Each element of the external design is enriched with a story of its own, whether that be visual references relating back to performance, the historical context of the site, or to Wadawurrung culture and traditions,” says ARM Founding Director, Ian McDougall.


Externally, a concrete drape feature runs across the front of the building, complementing a circus Calliope-shaped entrance referencing early histories of travelling performance in Victoria.

To foreground the voices of the local First Nations community, ARM collaborated closely with Wadawurrung artist Kait James and talented local First Nations artists, Tarryn Love, Gerard Black, and Mick Ryan to showcase First Nations stories throughout the Centre.

Each of the building’s four levels evokes a different Wadawurrung creation narrative. From the Earth and Ochre Country on the ground level, through Moonah Forest Country, Sky Country, and Night Sky Country above, the design eloquently narrates the tale of Djilang (Geelong). It pays homage to the site’s history as a place of performance, which dates back thousands of years.


The building’s internal layout has been designed as a series of multi-purpose spaces, each lending themselves to a variety of arts, performance and general community uses. This includes a 500-seat theatre that expands to 800 in ‘live gig’ mode, a 250-seat hybrid theatre connected to the Little Malop Street Plaza, and a range of event spaces, including foyers, bars and alfresco dining all of which facilitate diverse community experiences from concerts and exhibitions to festivals and markets.

“We’re revitalising Geelong’s arts and culture precinct and GAC’s redevelopment is a key part of that, creating hundreds of jobs and providing a world-class venue.”

—Martin Foley, Minister for Creative Industries

The Geelong Arts Centre is a celebration of everything that makes Geelong unique. It breathes life into the city’s artistic spirit, providing a canvas for creativity to flourish and resonate with all who enter its doors.

The new Geelong Arts Centre was officially opened on Saturday 19 August 2023.