The Challenge

In a world of choice the market amongst competing cities for conventions is fierce. Increasingly we find that memorable architecture can be a significant factor in standing out amid a sea of mediocre buildings. If the architecture can relate in a palpable sense to its context, then the building itself can become a marketing tool for the city aiding in its selection to host convention and meeting events.

The Solution

A mussel shell, a source of food for the indigenous people, was the inspiration for the design of the Darwin Cove Exhibition Centre. When the roof of the building is reflected in the surrounding water, revealed is the image of a fully opened shell. This welcoming and meaning-charged image has become an icon for the city and one that embraces the history and culture of the area. The project includes a 5,000 SM exhibition floor which converts to a performing arts venue, 2,500 SM ballroom and a 1,500 SM of meeting rooms. The overall development includes a 250 room hotel, 1,200 residential units and new inner harbor. Crawford Architects completed the feasibility study, concept design, urban design, master planning and architectural design. The first phase including the Convention Center was completed in June 2008.

Results

  • 2008 National Master Builders Association Award, Public Buildings over $50 million
  • 2008 Engineering Australia Awards (Northern Division), Engineering Excellence Award
  • Australian Institute of Architects’ 2009 Northern Territory Architecture Awards, Tracy Memorial Award
  • Australian Institute of Architects’ 2009 Northern Territory Architecture Awards, Reverend John Flynn Award for Public Architecture
  • 2009 Members’ Choice Award for innovation, International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC)