A $38.5-million redevelopment of Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) has officially been granted planning approval.

Designs for the Stage 2 redevelopment were revealed last year. The government-funded project will completely re-define the Ryrie Street side of the complex with a towering modern arts facility designed by HASSELL.

Designs for the complex reveal an inverted barn shape, the top of which leans out over the adjacent church. The new building will open onto a two-level foyer that will connect to Geelong’s Playhouse Theatre. A series of glass panels will additionally connect GPAC’s façade to that of the old church; a design feature that continues down across GPAC’s ground-floor entrance.


The redevelopment will provide the centre with a new accessible entrance, two new foyers, additional rehearsal studios and more space for creative practitioners and organisations.

As well as enhancing the external façade and internal facilities of GPAC, HASSELL’s design will connect further to the church building and reinvigorate what Development Victoria calls “an uninspiring façade”.


“The redevelopment will enable GPAC to attract a greater diversity of high-quality productions from around Australia and internationally and will provide more opportunities for local artists, schools and community groups,” reads a statement from Development Victoria.

“Designed by international Melbourne-based architecture studio, HASSELL, the project will redefine GPAC, its connection with the CBD and its position as Victoria’s leading regional performing arts centre.”

Now that approval has been granted, procurement for a builder is underway. It is anticipated that preliminary works on the site will commence in the coming months.