Whitehorse Redevelopment

Project Update - 14 May

Successful Lead Design Team for the Whitehorse Centre Announced

BKK Architects have been officially recognised as the successful lead design team for the Whitehorse Centre Design Competition at a Special Committee of Council Meeting on Monday 13 May 2019.

Whitehorse Mayor Councillor Bill Bennett said the winning design team submitted a functional concept design in response to the provided brief that integrated seamlessly with the existing precinct whilst demonstrating it can be achieved within Council’s nominated budget. This concept design is to be further developed throughout the schematic and design development phases before an end design is finalised.

“The successful outcome of the Design Competition has resulted in Whitehorse City Council appointing a winning design consultant team to engage with stakeholders and community groups throughout the design phases of this exciting redevelopment of the new Performing Arts Centre and multi-deck car park for the Whitehorse community,” Cr Bennett said.

Council and the Design Jury are extremely pleased with the outcome,” Cr Bennett said.

“This is a wonderful advance in the redevelopment of this cherished facility for the community,” Cr Bennett said.



Project Update

The Whitehorse Centre redevelopment project is underway with the Design Competition nearing completion. We have finalised the works program and the good news is the Centre will remain open until 16 August 2020.  After this date, the site will be prepared for demolition and early works before construction commences in 2021.

The show will go on - we will present our Main Season and Midweek Matinee program from other venues, stay tuned for details. We will also be working with our theatre clients so they can continue to present their shows at alternate venues.

About the Project

Whitehorse City Council is transforming the Whitehorse Centre in Nunawading into a highly accessible, flexible and contemporary venue that will meet the diverse and changing needs of our community, users and patrons. The new centre will provide an expanded array of performing arts, functions and festival opportunities for generations to come.

Let’s hear from our community!

The Whitehorse Centre is Council’s performing arts and cultural venue and a beloved community facility, attracting over 100,000 attendees and 40,000 festival goers annually. However, now more than 30 years old, it is nearing the end of its functional working life.

Planning for the Whitehorse Centre redevelopment has been well advanced since the project was announced as part of the 2017/18 Budget. This has included recruitment of a high calibre team of technical specialists, site planning and documentation, and environmental due diligence of the entire parkland area in which the building sits.

Council is thrilled that planning has now reached the exciting design stage. To achieve the most effective and sustainable outcomes for the project—functionally, operationally and financially—Council will conduct a design competition in the first half of 2019. The competition will bring together some of Australia’s most accomplished architectural minds to propose a new vision for the Whitehorse Centre.

From mid-2019 and throughout 2020 detailed design development will occur with the involvement of key stakeholders and user groups to progress the project to final design. This work will also trigger the appointment of the construction head contractor to deliver this exciting community project. The construction of the new centre and car park will commence in 2021 with an expected opening in late 2023.

The design competition process delivers innovative site planning and skilled architectural design to progress the project from the early concept design drawings to the next stage of design development.  This process will deliver an exciting new vision for the Whitehorse Centre and the Civic Precinct. This design stage outcome will proactively:

  • maximise green space to neighbouring residents by considering the position of the centre and its connectivity to the Library and Council Offices
  • increase the useable space of the amphitheatre for the popular family festivals
  • improve traffic and pedestrian movement on site
  • enhance the appearance and use of the parkland setting
  • respond to parking demands for the precinct and locate the multi-deck car park near the rear of the Nunawading Police Station.

As part of the design competition, a Stakeholder User Group Committee, comprising of key user groups and patrons, and a Council Advisory Committee, comprising of technical specialists, will provide input for consideration by a Competition Jury, which will make the ultimate decision on the winning team. The jury will be made up of design experts and Council representatives, including the Mayor and Chief Executive Officer, as Whitehorse’s two most senior positions.


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Design Competition Registration

Register your interest in participating in the design competition.

At a Glance

Council will build the new facility in line with the business case which recommends the required size and capability to cater for current and future use. This includes:

  • 600-seat auditorium with larger stage and modern back stage area
  • 200-seat studio theatre enabling smaller scale works
  • multipurpose rehearsal/dance studio
  • multipurpose function room
  • a greatly expanded range of shows, functions and events
  • improved soundshell capability for community festival season
  • multi-deck car park located at the rear of the Nunawading Police Station to accommodate visitors to the Whitehorse Centre, Nunawading Library, Whitehorse Civic Centre and the Walker Park sports precinct.

An estimated 80% of usage will come from community groups and community-based Council programs such as the Whitehorse Centre professional season, midweek matinee season, sports awards and women’s forum, amongst others.



For more information, please contact the project team directly by sending an email to whitehorsecentre.redevelopment@whitehorse.vic.gov.au or call 9262 6165.