Alexandra Gardens, Melbourne
The Alexandra Gardens are located on the south bank of the Yarra River, opposite Federation Square and the Melbourne Central Business District, in Victoria, Australia. The Gardens are bounded by the Yarra River to the north and Swan street bridges, with Queen Victoria Gardens and Kings Domain across Alexandra Avenue to the south; the gardens are part of the Domain parklands which stretch to the Royal Botanic Gardens and were first laid out in 1901, under the direction of Carlo Catani, Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department. The Alexandra Gardens were named in honor of Alexandra of Denmark, in the year her reign as Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Empress consort of India began; the Alexandra Gardens are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register due to their historical and archaeological significance. Alexandra Gardens are part of a larger group of parklands directly south-east of the city, between St. Kilda Road and the Yarra River known as the Domain Parklands, which includes.
Regular flooding occurred until a new channel for the Yarra River was dug from 1896 to 1900 to straighten and widen the river. The spoil was used to fill the swampy lagoons and brickmakers pits and raise the height of the river bank where Alexandra Gardens now stands. Landscaping occurred and the gardens were planned and laid out for the visit of the Duke of York in May 1901. Pedestrian and cycle access to the gardens is via steps or a ramp from Princes Bridge, or along the promenade from Southbank under Princes Bridge. Vehicular access is provided by Boathouse Drive from Alexandra Avenue. Next to Princes Bridge bicycles are available for hire to explore the Capital City Trail along the river; the prominent, The Around the Bay in a Day cycling event has its finish line at the Gardens. A skate park opened in 2001 in the gardens, with a café and first aid station, close to some distinctive Canary Island Palms which were planted in 1911. Alongside the Yarra River numerous rowing club boathouses nestle in the gardens, including the Mercantile Rowing Club.
The Olympic champions, the Oarsome Foursome, were known to train along the Yarra river. The annual Henley-on-Yarra regatta was held every spring just before Melbourne Cup day. For a day and a night, Melburnians flocked to the Yarra to watch this sporting event, with attendances peaking at 300,000 in 1925. After World War II, the event declined in significance, however the annual Australian Henley Rowing Regatta still occurs as an amateur event in December, with recent attempts to increase its popularity. Past the boathouses are lawns with electric barbecues, which are popular spots for picnics and office parties around Christmas time; as well as lawns fronting the Yarra river, the gardens contain a star-shaped garden bed representing the Federation of Australia. Melbourne City Council – Alexandra Gardens Australian Henley Rowing Regatta
Tom Bass (sculptor)
Thomas Dwyer Bass AM was a renowned Australian sculptor. Born in Lithgow, New South Wales, he studied at the Dattilo Rubbo Art School and the National Art School and established the Tom Bass Sculpture School in Sydney in 1974. In 1988, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to sculpture. In 2009, he was admitted to the degree of Doctor of Visual Arts at the University of Sydney. A retrospective of his work, spanning 60 years, was exhibited at the Sydney Opera House between 9 November and 17 December 2006. After graduating from the National Art School, Bass developed his philosophy of working as a sculptor as being the maker of totemic forms and emblems, that is, work expressing ideas of particular significance to communities or to society at large. Examples of his work include The Trial of Socrates and The Idea of a University at Wilson Hall, Melbourne University. Over a twenty-five-year period this remained the single focus of his work as he became the most sought after public sculptor in Australia.
He is represented all over Australia and overseas. Whilst engaged with his public sculptures, Bass remained on the periphery of the evolving art scene in post World War II Australia, his contribution to art went unacknowledged as the focus for artists evolved around the growing gallery and art market scene. Art as commodity was never Bass's reason for making sculpture. During the 50s and 60s Bass "..was the only Australian sculptor who understood the importance of bringing art to the widest possible audience.... With every major commission Bass aimed to push the boundaries of public taste, giving his audience a lesson in the visual language of modernism." 1962–63, Copper 107×800×55 cm, commissioned by P&O Orient Lines of Australia P/L in 1961, 55 Hunter Street, Sydney. Designed as a purely abstract wall fountain, this sculpture did not symbolize any particular aspect of the P&O Company. Bass's sculpture caused considerable controversy when it was completed in 1963; when the work was unveiled, its indirect resemblance to a Parisian pissoir and its position opposite the French Airline office provoked a witty comment in the sixth edition of OZ magazine about the city's latest status symbol as a convenience for the people of Sydney and as a welcoming sign to French travellers: "there is a nominal charge, of course, but don't worry, there is no need to pay immediately.
Just P. & O.". With it they published a renowned satirical photograph which showed the fountain being used as a urinal, with a caption which read "Pictured is a trio of Sydney natives P. & O.'ing in the Bass urinal". For this and other supposed offences the editors of the magazine, Richard Neville, Richard Walsh and Martin Sharp were charged and sentenced to jail with hard labour for "obscenity and encouraging public urination", although the defendants subsequently appealed against the sentences, which were revoked. In the trial Tom Bass appeared in their defense. Although the building is no longer owned by P&O, the work maintains an iconic presence in Sydney; the building was demolished in December 2017 for the construction of the Martin Place entrance to the Sydney Metro station 23 meters below street level, the location of the wall fountain not known. 1963, Copper 335.3×152.4×38 cmCommissioned by AGC Australia in 1962 for AGC House, 126 Phillip Street, Sydney When the original building was demolished in 2002, the work was salvaged and reinstalled by Investa Property Group into the Foster and Partners designed building in late 2005.
The AGC sculpture is an emblem inspired by the corporate and financial transactions in what was known as the hire purchase system. It takes the form of a mechanical corporate tree in which the branches symbolise the various interests of AGC, as it existed in 1962; the two top branches represent the supporting arm is insurance. These branches support a wheel that symbolizes the automobile, the first reason for hire purchase. At the base, there are two protective arms, similar to tree roots that signify the importance of security and stability. 1962, Copper 451×424×40 cmCommissioned by Australia Mutual Providence in 1960 for AMP Building, 33 Alfred Street, Sydney. The AMP emblem signifies the value of insurance in our daily family life. Redesigned by Bass for the iconic Sydney Cove building, the central figure represents the Goddess of Plenty who watches over the family figures represented by a mother and child, reflecting AMP's motto: Amicus certus in re incerta. To this day, the Sydney Cove building remains the Australian headquarters of AMP.
1959, Copper 686×206×35 cmCommissioned by ICI in 1956 for 61 Macquarie Street. In 1999, with the assistance of Mirvac, the sculpture was relocated to the north wall of Quay Grand Suites, adjacent to the Moore Steps, Sydney, it is a sculptural tribute to industry and scientific research. The crucible, held up by five figures, is the vessel; each figure represent an agent of change to process those materials: electricity, chemical changes and mechanical forces. The agents dip into the crucible to achieve change; the star represents a source of energy and transformation. The final product rises out of the crucible in the form of the ICI symbol. Bronze
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria are botanic gardens across two sites - Melbourne and Cranbourne. Melbourne Gardens was founded in 1846 when land was reserved on the south side of the Yarra River for a new botanic garden, it extends across 36 hectares that slope to the river with trees, garden beds and lawns. It displays 50,000 individual plants representing 8,500 different species; these are displayed in 30 living plant collections. Cranbourne Gardens was established in 1970 when land was acquired by the Gardens on Melbourne’s south-eastern urban fringe for the purpose of establishing a garden dedicated to Australian plants. A wild site, significant for biodiversity conservation, it opened to the public in 1989. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is home to the State Botanical Collection, housed in the National Herbarium of Victoria, including 1.5 million preserved plants and fungi, Australia’s most comprehensive botanical library. The gardens are governed under the Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991 by the Royal Botanic Gardens Board, who are responsible to the Minister for Environment.
In 1846 Charles La Trobe selected the site for the Royal Botanic Gardens from swamp. In 1857 the first director was Ferdinand von Mueller, who created the National Herbarium of Victoria and brought in many plants. In 1873 William Guilfoyle became Director and changed the style of the Gardens to something more like the picturesque gardens that were around at that time, he added temperate plants. In 1877 Sir Edmund Barton, Australia's first Prime Minister and Jane Ross were married at the Royal Botanic Gardens. In 1924 a shooting massacre occurred at the Gardens resulting in the death of four people. In June 2015 the Gardens brought together the elements of the organisation under the name Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, incorporating Melbourne Gardens, Cranbourne Gardens, the National Herbarium of Victoria and the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology Living collections at the Botanic Gardens include Australian Forest Walk, California Garden and Succulents, Camellia Collection, Cycad Collection, Fern Gully, Grey Garden, Herb Garden, Long Island, New Caledonia Collection, New Zealand Collection, Oak Lawn, Perennial Border, Southern China Collection, Tropical Display-Glasshouse, Viburnum Collection and Water Conservation Garden.
The gardens include a mixture of native and non-native vegetation which invariably hosts a diverse range of both native and non-native fauna. The gardens host over 10,000 floral species, the majority being non-native species; the gardens were the origin from which many introduced species spread throughout south-eastern Australia as seeds were traded between early European botanists in the mid-19th century, studying the Australian flora. From the gardens establishment in 1846, much of the native vegetation was removed as botanists such as Baron Von Mueller planted a range of species from around the world. While much of the native wetlands and swamplands in the gardens were left, around the turn of the 20th century these were re-landscaped to create the Ornamental Lake. Despite this however, there are some large eucalypts remaining including the prominent Separation Tree, a 300-year-old River Red Gum, under which Victoria was declared a separate colony. In August 2010 the Separation Tree was attacked by vandals and attacked again in 2013, by 2015 it was dead and removal of the canopy and branches commenced.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne focus on Australian native plants. The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne were intended to be a horticultural exhibition for the public to enjoy, many seeds were traded between early European botanists such as Arthur and Von Mueller, who planted non-native species; the Queen and her grandfather, Dame Nellie Melba and Paderewski contributed plantings on occasions throughout the gardens history. Since its earliest days, the Royal Botanic Gardens is involved in plant identification; this is done through the National Herbarium of Victoria, based at the Gardens. The Herbarium is home to the State Botanical Collection, which includes over 1.2 million dried plant specimens, an extensive collection of books and artworks. Research findings are published in the journal Mulleria, a scientific representation of the work done in the Gardens in any one year. More the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology has been established to look at plants which grow in urban environments specifically.
The 5,000 square metre Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden is designed as a discovery area for children of all ages and abilities. The Ian Potter Children's Garden is based off the main site; this area is closed for two months of the year from the end of the Victorian July school holidays for rest and maintenance. RBG website
A toilet is a piece of hardware used for the collection or disposal of human urine and feces. In other words: "Toilets are sanitation facilities at the user interface that allow the safe and convenient urination and defecation". Toilets can be without flushing water, they can be set up for a squatting posture. Flush toilets are connected to a sewer system in urban areas and to septic tanks in less built-up areas. Dry toilets are connected to a pit, removable container, composting chamber, or other storage and treatment device. Toilets are made of ceramic, plastic, or wood. In private homes, the toilet, bath, or shower may be in the same room. Another option is to have one room for body washing and a separate room for the toilet and handwashing sink. Public toilets consist of one or more toilets. Portable toilets or chemical toilets may be brought in for temporary gatherings. Many poor households in developing countries use basic, unhygienic toilets, for example simple pit latrines and bucket toilets which are placed in outhouses.
Globally, nearly one billion people have no access to a toilet at all, are forced to do open defecation. Diseases transmitted via the fecal-oral route or via water, such as cholera and diarrhea, can be spread by open defecation, they can be spread by unsafe toilets which cause pollution of surface water or groundwater. Sanitation has been a concern from the earliest stages of human settlements; the Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 calls for "adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation by 2030". The number of different types of toilets used on a worldwide level is large. Toilet types can be grouped by: Having a water seal or not Being used in a sitting or squatting position Being located at a household level or in public People use different toilet types based on the country that they are in. In developing countries, access to toilets is related to people's socio-economic status. Poor people in low-income countries have no toilets at all and resort to open defecation instead.
This is part of the sanitation crisis which international initiatives such as World Toilet Day draw attention to. A typical flush toilet is a ceramic bowl connected on the "up" side to a cistern that enables rapid filling with water, on the "down" side to a drain pipe that removes the effluent; when a toilet is flushed, the sewage should flow into a septic tank or into a system connected to a sewage treatment plant. However, in many developing countries, this treatment step does not take place; the water in the toilet bowl is connected to a pipe shaped like an upside-down U. One side of the U channel is arranged as a siphon tube longer; the siphon tube connects to the drain. The bottom of the drain pipe limits the height of the water in the bowl before it flows down the drain; the water in the bowl acts as a barrier to sewer gas entering the building. Sewer gas escapes through a vent pipe attached to the sewer line; the amount of water used by conventional flush toilets makes up a significant portion of personal daily water usage.
However, modern low flush toilet designs allow the use of much less water per flush. Dual flush toilets allow the user to select between a flush for urine or feces, saving a significant amount of water over conventional units; the flush handle on these toilets is pushed up for one kind of flush and down for the other. Another design is to have one for urination and the other for defecation. In some places, users are encouraged not to flush after urination. Flushing toilets can be plumbed to use greywater rather than potable water; some modern toilets pressurize the water in the tank, which initiates flushing action with less water usage. Another variant is the pour-flush toilet; this type of flush toilet has no cistern but is flushed manually with a few liters of a small bucket. The flushing can use as little as 2–3 litres; this type of toilet is common in many Asian countries. The toilet can be connected to one or two pits, in which case it is called a "pour flush pit latrine" or a "twin pit pour flush to pit latrine".
It can be connected to a septic tank. Flush toilets on ships are flushed with seawater. "High-tech" toilets, which can be found in countries like Japan, include features such as automatic-flushing mechanisms. Others include medical monitoring features such as urine and stool analysis and the checking of blood pressure and blood sugar; some toilets have automatic lid operation, heated seats, deodorizing fans, or automated replacement of paper toilet-seat-covers. Interactive urinals have been developed in several countries; the "Toylet", produced by Sega, uses pressure sensors to detect the flow of urine and translates that into on-screen action. Astronauts on the International Space Station use a space toilet with urine diversion which can recover potable water. A vacuum toilet is a flush toilet that requires little flushing water and is connected to a vacuum sewer system. For example, they are used on trains. Many types of toilets without a water seal (also
The Yarra River or the Yarra Yarra River, is a perennial river in east-central Victoria, Australia. The lower stretches of the river are where the city of Melbourne was established in 1835 and today Greater Melbourne dominates and influences the landscape of its lower reaches. From its source in the Yarra Ranges, it flows 242 kilometres west through the Yarra Valley which opens out into plains as it winds its way through Greater Melbourne before emptying into Hobsons Bay in northernmost Port Phillip; the river was a major food source and meeting place for indigenous Australians from prehistoric times. Shortly after the arrival of European settlers land clearing forced the remaining Wurundjeri to neighbouring territories and away from the river. Called Birrarung by the Wurundjeri, the current name was mistranslated from another Wurundjeri term in the Boonwurrung language; the river was utilised for agriculture by early European settlers. The landscape of the river has changed since 1835; the course has been progressively disrupted and the river widened in places.
The first of many Crossings of the Yarra River to facilitate transport was built in Princes Bridge. Beginning with the Victorian gold rush it was extensively mined, creating the Pound Bend Tunnel in Warrandyte, the Big and Little Peninsula Tunnels above Warburton. Widening and dams, like the Upper Yarra Reservoir have helped protect Melbourne from major flooding; the catchment's upper reaches are affected by logging. Industrialisation led to the destruction of the marshlands at the confluence of the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers in the area around Coode Island in West Melbourne. Today, the mouth and including Swanson and Appleton Docks are used for container shipping by the Port of Melbourne, the busiest on the continent; the city reach, inaccessible to larger watercraft, has seen increased use for both transport and recreational boating. In recent years however recreational use of the river is threatened by high levels of pollution in its lower stretches; the upper reaches remain healthy. The annual Moomba festival celebrates the Yarra River's increasing cultural significance to Melbourne.
The river was called Birrarung by the Wurundjeri people who occupied the Yarra Valley and much of Central Victoria prior to European colonisation. It is thought that Birrarung is derived from Wurundjeri words meaning "ever flowing". Another common term was Birrarung Marr, thought to mean "river of mist" or "river bank". Upon European arrival it was given the name'Yarra Yarra' by John Helder Wedge of the Port Phillip Association in 1835, in the mistaken belief that this was the Aboriginal name for the river in the Boonwurrung language; however it is believed that'Yarra' means "waterfall", "flow", or refers to running or falling water, descriptive of any river or creek in the area, not just the Yarra. The name Yarra Yarra is said to mean "ever flowing river", but most refers to the Yarra Yarra falls which were dynamited. Of their contact with local Wurunderi people in 1835, John Wedge wrote: On arriving in sight of the river, the two natives who were with me, pointing to the river, called out,'Yarra Yarra', which at the time I imagined to be its name.
Sometime before 6000 BC, the Yarra river was joined with other tributaries such as rivers now called the Patterson, Werribee and drained directly into Bass Strait through what is now called the Rip. Between 8000 BC and 6000 BC, the basin flooded forming Port Phillip Bay and moving the "mouth" of the Yarra over 50 km inland. A dry period combined with sand bar formation may have dried the bay out as as between 800 BC and 1000 AD extending the Yarra to Bass Strait during this period; the area surrounding the Yarra River and modern day Melbourne was inhabited by Natives of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. It is believed; the river was an important resource for the Wurundjeri people and several sites along the river and its tributaries were important meeting places where corroborees were held between indigenous communities. The river's resources were utilised sustainably by the Wurundjeri until the advent of early European settlement in the early-mid-19th century. In 1803, the first Europeans sailed up the river, a surveying party led by Charles Grimes, Acting Surveyor General of New South Wales, sailed upstream to Dights Falls where they could no longer continue due to the nature of the terrain.
European explorers would not enter the river for another 30 years until, in 1835, the area, now central and northern Melbourne was explored by John Batman, a leading member of the Port Phillip Association, who negotiated a transaction for 600,000 acres of land from eight Wurundjeri elders. He selected a site on the northern bank of the Yarra River, declaring that "this will be the place for a village"; the river was instrumental in the establishment of Melbourne along its banks from 1835 onwards. The new settlement's main port was sited just downstream of Yarra Falls west of modern-day Queen's Bridge, the place where saltwater met freshwater. Ships would use one side of the falls while the other side provided fresh drinking water for the town and a convenient sewer. In the city's early days the
The Carlton Gardens is a World Heritage Site located on the northeastern edge of the Central Business District in the suburb of Carlton, in Melbourne, Australia. The 26-hectare site contains the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum and Imax Cinema, tennis courts and an award-winning children's playground; the rectangular site is bound by Victoria Street, Rathdowne Street, Carlton Street, Nicholson Street. From the Exhibition building the gardens slope down to the southwest and northeast. According to the World Heritage listing the Royal Exhibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens are "of historical, aesthetic and scientific significance to the State of Victoria." The gardens are an example of Victorian landscape design with sweeping lawns and varied European and Australian tree plantings consisting of deciduous English oaks, White Poplar, plane trees, conifers, turkey oaks and evergreens such as Moreton Bay figs, combined with flower beds of annuals and shrubs. A network of tree-lined paths provides formal avenues for highlighting the fountains and architecture of the Exhibition building.
This includes the grand allee of plane trees. Two small ornamental lakes adorn the southern section of the park; the northern section contains the museum, tennis courts, maintenance depot and curator's cottage, the children's playground designed as a Victorian maze. The listing in the Victorian Heritage Register says in part: "The Carlton Gardens are of scientific significance for their outstanding collection of plants, including conifers, palms and deciduous trees, many of which have grown to an outstanding size and form; the elm avenues of Ulmus procera and Ulmus × hollandica are significant as few examples remain world wide due to Dutch elm disease. The Garden contains a rare specimen of Acmena ingens, only five other specimens are known, an uncommon Harpephyllum caffrum and the largest recorded in Victoria, Taxodium distichum, outstanding specimens of Chamaecyparis funebris and Ficus macrophylla, south west of the Royal Exhibition Building."Wildlife includes brushtailed possums and ducklings in spring, tawny frogmouths, kookaburras.
Indian mynas and silver gulls are common. At night Gould's wattled bat and white-striped freetail bats hunt for insects while grey-headed flying foxes visit the gardens when native trees are flowering or fruiting; the gardens contain three important fountains: the Exhibition Fountain, designed for the 1880 Exhibition by sculptor Joseph Hochgurtel. The grounds adjoining the north of the Exhibition Building contained a sports ground, known as the Exhibition Oval or Exhibition Track. A fifth-of-a-mile oval asphalt cycling track was built in 1890 was refurbished in 1896 to improve the surface and widen and bank the corners; the circuit held cycling races until the 1920s, as well as low-powered motorcycle races. The cycling track was removed in 1928, replaced with a dirt track for high-powered motorcycle racing, growing in popularity at the time. A new seventh-of-a-mile banked oval board track was constructed in its place in 1936, but was removed in 1939 after the Supreme Court ruled that the track contravened the Exhibition Act, which required that the public have free access to the grounds.
Throughout its existence, the grassed oval in the middle of the racing tracks were used for various field sports events and carnivals, at one point during a 1931 dispute between the Victorian Football League and its Grounds Management Association, the oval was on stand-by to serve as a VFL venue during the 1931 season. 1839 – Large tracts of land surrounding the original town grid of Melbourne were reserved from sale by Superintendent Charles La Trobe. Most of this land was sold and subdivided or used for the development of various public institutions, but a number of substantial sites were permanently reserved as public parks, including the Carlton Gardens as well as Flagstaff Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens, Treasury Gardens and Kings Domain. Circa 1856 – The City of Melbourne obtained control of the Carlton Gardens, engaged Edward La Trobe Bateman to prepare a design for the site; the path layout and other features of the design were built although limitations on funding for maintenance etc. resulted in frequent criticism.
1870s – The colonial Victorian Government resumed control of the Gardens and minor changes and were made under the direction of Clement Hodgkinson. The site was soon afterwards drastically redesigned for the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition by the architect Joseph Reed; the prominent local horticulturist William Sangster was engaged as a contractor to redevelop the gardens. 1880 – Exhibition Building completed for the Melbourne International Exhibition that year. Temporary annexes to house some of the exhibition in the northern section were demolished after the exhibition closed on 30 April 1881. 1888 – Melbourne Centennial Exhibition to celebrate a century of European settlement in Australia. 1891 – The curator's Lodge was completed and lived in by John Guilfoyle. 1901 – First Parliament of Australia opens in the Exhibition Building. The west annex of the Building becomes the site of the Victorian Parliament for the next 27 years. 1919 – buildings became an emergency hospital for influenza epidemic victims 1928 – Perimeter fence removed leaving the bluestone footings.
Second World War: the buildings were used by the RAAF. 1948 to 1961 – part of the complex was used as a migrant reception centre. 1999 – Melbourne Museum opens, taking up one sixth of the site. 2001 – Taylor Cullity Lethlean with Mary Jeavons wins a landscape award for design and building a
Arts Centre Melbourne
Arts Centre Melbourne known as the Victorian Arts Centre and called the Arts Centre, is a performing arts centre consisting of a complex of theatres and concert halls in the Melbourne Arts Precinct, located in the central Melbourne suburb of Southbank in Victoria, Australia. It was designed by architect Roy Grounds, the masterplan for the complex was approved in 1960 and construction began in 1973 following some delays; the complex opened in stages, with Hamer Hall opening in 1982 and the Theatres Building opening in 1984. Arts Centre Melbourne is located by the Yarra River and along St Kilda Road, one of the city's main thoroughfares, extends into the Melbourne Arts Precinct. Major companies performing include Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Melbourne Theatre Company, The Production Company, Victorian Opera, Bell Shakespeare, Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Arts Centre Melbourne hosts a large number of Australian and international performances and production companies.
Arts Centre Melbourne is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. Arts Centre Melbourne's site has long been associated with arts and entertainment. During World War II there was a push to establish a new home for the National Gallery of Victoria, along with a state theatre, on the site. After many years of discussion, Roy Grounds was chosen as the architect, his master plan of a gallery and an adjacent theater under a tall copper spire was approved in 1960; the gallery was completed with the theatres to be built in a second stage. Responsibility for the project lay with the building committee, established in 1956 and chaired by Kenneth Myer from 1965 to 1989. For twenty-five years the committee was a consistent force in the completion of the complex. Actor and film director George Fairfax, having joined the project in 1972, was appointed the first general manager of the building committee and the trust, a position he held until 1989; as a result, Fairfax played an influential role in administration of Arts Centre Melbourne's development.
In the early 1970s, due to the expansion of the size of both the theatre and the concert hall required, the addition of a smaller second theatre, to accommodate difficulties associated with the geology of the site, Roy Grounds redesigned the project. The concert hall was separated out and placed in the riverbank, the theatres building expanded above ground, with a latticework spire above. Work began on the theatre site in 1973, but excavations were not completed until 1978, two years than expected. Work began on the concert hall site in 1976. During the first phase of the project from 1972 until 1979 responsibility was with Rupert Hamer as Minister for the Arts and during the main construction phase from 1979 to 1982 with Norman Lacy as Minister for the Arts. Once the buildings were nearly complete, with the death of Roy Grounds in 1971, Academy Award-winning expatriate set designer John Truscott, was employed to decorate the interiors, his work was constrained only by a requirement to leave elements constructed, such as Ground's faceted cave-like concert hall interior, to which he applied mineral finishes, his steel mesh draped ceiling in the State Theatre, to which he added perforated brass balls.
During his tenure, Norman Lacy was called on to defend the Victorian Arts Centre Trust and its construction program during some charged public debates in the parliament. He had to defend the acoustics, the design of the spire, the rejection of the proposed changes to the Concert Hall interiors, the BASS ticketing system of the project, as well as its delays and cost over runs; the Victorian Arts Centre’s management and administration was set up under the Victorian Arts Centre Act 1979 introduced into the Victorian parliament by Norman Lacy. The trustees were appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the minister; the trust were given responsibility for the operation and programming of the publicly owned performing arts spaces that make up the Victorian Arts Centre – the Theatres Building beneath the Spire, Hamer Hall and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Soon after the legislation to establish the trust was passed, Norman Lacy and George Fairfax undertook a study trip to North America and Europe to assess administrative arrangements, educational programs and community initiatives at major performing arts centres in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Ottawa and Paris.
The result was the development of Arts Centre Melbourne's management structure during 1981 and a suite of opening and on-going initiatives. The Concert Hall opened in November 1982, while substantial work remained to be done on the Theatres site; the rest of Arts Centre Melbourne was opened progressively in 1984, with the Theatres building opened in October that year. This signified the completion of one of the largest public works projects in Victorian history, undertaken over a period of twenty five years. Arts Centre Melbourne is unusual in that its theatres and concert hall are built underground. Hamer Hall, situated closest to the river, was planned to be entirely underground, thus providing a huge open vista between the theatre spire, the river and Flinders Street railway station. However, construction problems with the foundations, including water seepage, meant the structure had to be raised to three storeys above ground. Budget constraints meant that Grounds' design for the Theatres Building, which included a copper-clad spire, were s