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Growing continuously together, Melbourne and the Royal Exhibition Building have been recognised by the Australian Government with an historic $20M investment.

Charged with delivering this new era, Museums Victoria will work alongside the award-winning historical architects Lovell Chen to deliver a redevelopment like no other. The jewel of our city’s skyline, the Royal Exhibition Building opened in 1880 to house exhibitions, transform industry and nurture new ways of thinking. Still encapsulating this role, the building and the surrounding Carlton Gardens have created a public space that celebrates both engagement and our community.

With an ongoing commitment to protect our World Heritage Precinct, the centrepiece of the project will take our love of Melbourne to new heights with the restoration of the Royal Exhibition Building's 1880’s dome promenade offering unparalleled 360-degree views. This restored attraction will also include a glazed pavilion on the lower promenade to cater for all weather conditions, stair access and a lift, in the same location as the one installed during the 1888 Centennial International Exhibition.

A key component of the project's promotion works is in the basement, which will be transformed into a curatorial exhibition experience to share stories of past, present and future. This activated space will offer a diverse range of content and programs, with ongoing opportunities to embrace community ideas, memories and connections to Melbourne and her history.

Uniquely merging conservation whilst also promoting Melbourne’s heart, the rebirth of the Royal Exhibition Building will be carried out over a number of stages until its completion. 

Project Overview

Stage One ($20 million – Statutory authority approval pending)

  • Dome promenade
  • Basement works with promenade experience entry
  • Installation of lift and stair to lower promenade
  • Interior and exterior design conservation throughout including the dome, cupola and drum
  • West façade conservation works
  • North façade orb replacement
  • Flagpole replacement

Stage Two (Still needs to be financed - Statutory authority approval pending)

  • North façade conservation works
  • Commercial kitchen
  • Expanded basement fit-out including ticketing and retail outlet


What is the budget for the Project?
Approximately $32 million (AUD) to complete stage one and stage two.

Who is funding the Project?
The Australian Government has committed $20 million (AUD) to the protection and promotion of the Royal Exhibition Building.  The remaining funds are yet to be sourced.

When will the building construction start?
Early works will commence in 2018.

When will the redevelopment be completed?
The expected opening date is late 2019.

How can I get involved?
You can have your say on the Royal Exhibition Building website or Facebook page, via email and at Museums Victoria.

Who is managing the project?
The Project is being governed by the Department of Environment and Energy, Heritage Victoria, Creative Victoria and Museums Victoria.

How to support us?