Sound Stage 6, Docklands Studios Melbourne   Melbourne, Australia

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.

Through the creation of a world-class 3,700sqm sound stage and an adjoining 1,900sqm three-storey office building, the new Sound Stage 6 increases the capacity of Docklands Studios Melbourne by 60 per cent.

The highly technical building provides a large clear-span space with a 17-metre-high gantry, wet-stage facilities, high acoustic performance, and optimal load bearing conditions for Docklands Studios Melbourne’s flagship facility.

Notably, the wet-stage facilities include a 900,000-litre, 4.5 metre-deep water tank for shooting large-scale underwater scenes, bestowing Sound Stage 6 the flexibility to attract a range of productions.

With 600 tonnes of steel girders forming the shell of the simple barrel-vaulted building form, Sound Stage 6 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 its 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 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.

Able to simultaneously accommodate Docklands Studios Melbourne staff as well as international and local production companies, the design of the adjoining office space 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. The pink louvres along the façade reduce solar heat gain and glare while optimising daylight into the workplace. Externally, the

louvres create a dynamic colour response that changes depending on the viewer’s approach.

Natural light floods the interior of the workplace, and is complemented by the dynamic placement of plywood cladding, vistas to Melbourne’s CBD and Docklands precinct, and a feature staircase that utilises colour and light in the design of the balustrade and handrail to enhance the arrival experience.

As a premium sound stage in the heart of Melbourne, Sound Stage 6 is a high-performance industrial building designed to provide a world-class facility for Australia’s screen industries, including film, television and gaming.

The global screen industry has grown exponentially in recent years, and the launch of this cutting-edge super stage will allow Melbourne and the state of Victoria to house even more phenomenal productions.

Caroline Pitcher, CEO of VicScreen

Location
Melbourne, Australia

Project Type
Culture and Exhibition Halls →

Client
Development Victoria
Docklands Studios Melbourne
Creative Victoria

Area
5,600sqm

Status
Complete

Year
2022

Photography
Dianna Snape