Articles One of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, Sound Stage 6 is now ready to roll at Docklands Studios Melbourne.

As one of the largest facilities of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, Sound Stage 6 → at Docklands Studios Melbourne is set to invigorate the screen industry in Victoria and attract large-scale international productions to the complex.

Recently opened by Creative Industries Minister Danny Pearson, Sound Stage 6 is a high-performance industrial building designed to provide a world-class facility for film and television production. It features a large clear-span space with a 17-metre-high gantry, wet-stage facilities, high acoustic performance, and optimal load bearing conditions as well as an adjoining three-storey workplace for Docklands Studios Melbourne’s flagship facility.

Designed by Grimshaw, the building form corresponds with the existing sound stages of the complex to complement the identity and branding of the precinct. However, its scale and the expression of the adjoining office building allows Sound Stage 6 to be viewed as Docklands Studios Melbourne’s centrepiece, reflecting the highly professional and technical facilities provided within the sound stage, production and administration spaces.

Sound Stage 6 increases the capacity of Docklands Studios Melbourne by 60 per cent. Notably, the wet-stage facilities include a 900,000-litre, 4.5 metre-deep below-ground water tank for shooting large-scale underwater scenes, bestowing the facility the flexibility to attract a range of productions.

Sound Stage 6 is a testament to the collaborative working relationship between Development Victoria, Docklands Studios Melbourne and the architects, Grimshaw. The challenge was to deliver a world-class, highly flexible sound stage on a very challenging site. Through ingenuity and diligence, Grimshaw satisfied all aspects of the brief and delivered a stage that will be used by Australian and international film and television, and enhance the development of Melbourne’s screen industry.

Docklands Studios Melbourne recently retired CEO, Rod Allan, who oversaw the design process on behalf of the studio.

A significant feature of Sound Stage 6 is the adjoining 1,900sqm three-storey workplace. Able to simultaneously accommodate Docklands Studios Melbourne staff as well as international and local production companies, the design of the adjoining workplace continues the site-wide wayfinding theme which – as a nod to Andy Warhol’s celebrated artwork of the screen icon, Marilyn Monroe - features the colours orange, yellow, blue, aqua, red and pink.

With Sound Stage 6 distinguished by the colour pink, the office building is expressed as large blocks articulated with deep openings to create entries and external break-out spaces.

External louvres reduce solar heat gain and glare, and optimise daylight into the workplace. Externally, the louvres create a dynamic colour response that changes depending on the viewer’s approach.

As a premium sound stage in the heart of Melbourne, Sound Stage 6 brings together state-of-the-art facilities to attract major productions in the TV, film and games industries to Australia, adding to Docklands Studios Melbourne’s rich local production schedule.

The intricate complexities of designing Sound Stage 6 for Docklands Studios Melbourne has presented a very satisfying challenge, and it has been a great honour to support the creative industries in Victoria through the design of one of the largest sound stages in the Southern Hemisphere.

Jason Embley, Principal, Grimshaw