The Stables

Term: 4 Year: 2018

A new, world-class arts facility in Melbourne’s Arts Precinct.

On the 14th of May, the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music celebrated the launch of The Stables – a world-class visual arts and performance space in Melbourne’s Southbank.

The former Victoria Police Mounted Branch stables, purpose-built in 1912, have been transformed into future-ready teaching and learning facilities, including a new visual arts wing with 170 studios and flexible exhibition spaces, and a 260-seat multipurpose arts wing – the Martyn Myer Arena – for theatre, dance, music theatre and music performances.

The $18-million refurbishment was made possible through the significant support of The University of Melbourne and generous philanthropists including The Ian Potter Foundation, The Myer Foundation and Martyn and Louise Myer.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said: “The Southbank campus transformation offers tremendous opportunities to expand community engagement, foster new partnerships locally and internationally and work with our cultural precinct partners’ vision to further develop the city’s thriving arts scene.”

Faculty of Fine Arts and Music Dean Professor Barry Conyngham said The Stables redevelopment would help the Faculty respond to a 66% increase in student numbers since 2010, by providing “a fantastic new facility for visual arts and performing arts, designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects”.

Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley, who officially opened The Stables on 14 May, said the repurposing and redevelopment of The Stables had “created another landmark for the Melbourne Arts Precinct, which is home to one of the highest concentrations of arts and cultural organisations in the world”.

“Our Government is investing in the future of the precinct as a hub and a home for creativity – a place where our best and brightest students and independent artists, our most innovative small to medium arts companies, and our iconic cultural institutions all play a role in shaping a destination like no other,” he said.

Other key projects in the Southbank campus redevelopment include the recently-opened Buxton Contemporary, and a new state-of-the-art nine-storey building for the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music – The Ian Potter Southbank Centre – which opens in 2019.

Alix Bromley
Communications Manager
The Stables