The Victorian Pride Centre has this week been unveiled by Hansen Yuncken. It is Australia’s first purpose-built LGBTIQ+ community hub, and celebrates the community’s achievements, as well as Australia’s cultural and social diversity.

Located in St Kilda, Melbourne, the project is of truly unconventional proportions. Occupants will struggle to locate edge, with the building to be home to 15 organisations, a communal ground floor of shared workspaces, a theatrette, a gallery, the Australian Queer Archives, and a rooftop garden. Overlooking Port Phillip Bay and the city skyline, the building is 6,000 metres square in total.

The building was designed by St Kilda-based Grant Amon Architects and Brearley Architects & Urbanists, and was supported by the Victorian Government, City of Port Phillip, philanthropy and LGBTIQ+ community members.

victorian pride centre topping out render

Justine Dalla Riva, CEO of the Victorian Pride Centre, says the building embodies much of the community’s values.

“The Victorian Pride Centre is a stunning and culturally significant hub for Melbourne’s queer community. It will create a safe and vibrant space for LGBTIQ+ groups and organisations to exchange ideas and resources to further their work in supporting equality, diversity and inclusion,” she says.

The project’s rainbow-inspired design, many intricate details and highly constrained site created numerous challenges, in addition to those presented by COVID-19 restrictions. The construction was able to move beyond these adversities to form a building suitable for the LGBTIQ+ community.

“We’re proud to have helped create such an important space for Melbourne’s LGBTIQ+ community,” says Richard Hansen, Victoria State Manager of Hansen Yuncken. 

“It’s the second largest building of its kind in the world and there are many elements that required innovative approaches to realise the architect’s vision.

“For example, our team undertook extensive prototyping and digital modelling to test acoustics and waterproofing before the installation of the statement angled panels and windows. A large volume of Glass Reinforced Concrete and precast curved elements were among the challenges we solved to deliver the sweeping curves of the building you see today.”

victorian pride centre stairwell skylight

The innovative approaches Hansen speaks of refers to ensuring public access during construction, including the complex installation of the ‘eggshell’ feature in the atrium, which takes its inspiration from an emu egg, celebrating the Boon Wurrung First Nations Indigenous people and history of the area.

Hansen Yuncken worked in partnership with the Victorian Pride Centre to meet all building regulations, minimise local disturbance during construction and deliver a range of bespoke design elements including extensive curved precast feature panels, 41 individually curved windows, 720 panels of glass, 17 glass-reinforced concrete vaults, 7 layers of construction for the Eastern facade detail, 1,000+ individually hand worked aluminium cladding panels, 1 silver-top ash log repurposed as feature timber panelling, and a feature exposed spotted gum stair and seating platforms at ground floor level open to the level 4 roof skylight

“It has been a journey to say the least, but creating something worthwhile, something unique takes time. We thank Hansen Yuncken and the team on the ground who have worked with us, it really does take a village to build Pride,” says Dalla Riva.

To find out more regarding the project, click here.