Museum Victoria announces the appointment of Melbourne-based architectural and heritage consultants Lovell Chen for the $20 million Commonwealth funded Royal Exhibition Building Protection and Promotion Project.

Museum Victoria CEO Dr Patrick Greene said the new project will deliver a superior visitor experience by allowing access into areas that were off limits for over a century, including the 360-degree Dome Promenade view across Carlton Gardens, Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, and an underground entry point through the building’s basement.

According to Greene, the project is about protecting and promoting the World and National Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and will require a specialist team to further develop the design and provide expertise in heritage architecture and restoration.

Chosen through a tender process, Lovell Chen will lead consultation with Heritage Victoria and the Commonwealth to gain approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, in consideration of the national and world heritage values for the restoration and access works. The planning and design development for the complex project would continue for the rest of the year, with construction due to begin in 2016.

The new multi-level Royal Exhibition Building is set to open in 2017 and is expected to become a very popular Melbourne tourist destination.

Museum Victoria is managing delivery of the project, which will be overseen by the State and Commonwealth Governments.

Image: Royal Exhibition Building Dome Promenade Deck, 1880 (Source: Museum Victoria)