Marion Cultural Centre

Adelaide’s Marion Cultural Centre is on a busy corner surrounded by arterial roads and next to Westfield Marion shopping centre.

Marion Cultural Centre is located on the lands of the Kaurna people.

Marion has been heritage listed!

In 2018, the Marion community fought a move to demolish the Cultural Centre and replace it with a multi-national hotel. Now it’s protected by state and national heritage listing.

Our client needed it to be a tangible civic landmark, reinforcing the heart of the City of Marion. Its location meant it had to be very vivid and distinctive in order to be noticed. The design also needed to communicate a vision of Marion as a technology-driven smart zone.

We have given it a very literal sense of place by incorporating the name ‘Marion’ into the façade and external features of the building.

The City of Marion also wished to establish a cultural precinct. The Cultural Centre has proven a catalyst for this, with other such buildings growing up around it.


Marion’s library, the information and technology hub of the centre, was intended as a branch library but its increase in loans meant it soon became the head office. For future-proofing, its floor plan is open and flexible. The Service and Information Desk is convenient to the main entrance. Natural light pours in through the verandah windows and the screened eastern façade.


Visitors to Marion’s library increased from 300 to 750 per day and attracted 800 new members per month.

Other elements

  • Domain Theatre, the Centre’s performing arts hub. It has a flat floor, a balcony, retractable seating for 80 to 250 people and backstage and rehearsal facilities.
  • Gallery M, which has 76 m of hanging space, an advanced system of climate control and a specialised lighting and hanging system. There is also a general-purpose storage area and a space specifically designed for the care and storage of artworks.
  • three meeting rooms of various sizes
  • a café with indoor and al fresco dining on the plaza forecourt. Originally it served café fare only but, by popular request, it obtained a liquor licence and soon tripled in size.
  • a 200m² foyer that is the hub of the Centre’s three other functional zones and opens onto the outside plaza space. It also works as a display space, café dining area and performance area with the steps as amphitheatre seating.


The energy-efficient design incorporates a stormwater retention system that allows surface run-off to be stored, filtered on site, then pumped into the ground to replenish the aquifer under Adelaide. There is also a solar hot water system, water-efficient fixtures and fittings, energy-efficient artificial lighting, low-energy evaporative systems and economy cycle air conditioning—even the external landscaping is low maintenance and water efficient.