Michael Lockwood and Richard Breslin, of global architecture firm Populous, have designed some of the most recognised convention and exhibition centres around the world, including ICC Sydney.
As ICC Sydney reaches its first anniversary, Richard and Michael look at international trends in convention…
The HASSELL + Populous design for the ICC Exhibition creates Australia’s first multi-storey exhibition space and the largest exhibition space in Australia. The Exhibition Centre has 35,000m2 of indoor exhibition space over two levels, equivalent in size to 26 Olympic size pools. The stacked nature of the exhibition halls capitalises on the venues inner city location and the immense scale of the venue is dramatically reduced by being integrated into the terraced park surrounds which conceals a substantial proportion of the building.
The Exhibition halls have a ceiling height of 10.5m to accommodate some of the world’s largest events. ICC Sydney has a spectacular 5,000m2 open air event deck which sits atop the ICC and overlooks Tumbalong Park and the city. It includes a large lounge and bar area (1000m2) which offers spectacular views of the city.
Another unique design feature is the location of the meeting room pods and breakout spaces at the front of the building, to connect and engage with the outside environment.
A clever design approach has also meant loading operations are concealed by reversing the loading dock to the lower halls. This also helped enable the building to be successfully integrated as an enhanced natural landscape and public realm within Darling Harbour.
The design has significantly increased the available exhibition space and meeting capacity to provide an asset capable of attracting the best conferences, exhibitions and events in the world.