100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004.
- Built in 1981.
- Designed by Sir Roy Grounds.
- Interior design by John Truscott.
- Not listed on the Victorian Heritage Register
- Subject to current refurbishment.
Originally known as the Melbourne Concert Hall, the complex was designed by Sir Roy Grounds and opened in 1982 after a lengthy land dispute with the City of Melbourne, ongoing engineering problems and industrial action that had hampered its construction for several years. The Melbourne Concert Hall quickly became a much-loved cultural hub, playing host to the world's finest performers, orchestras and bands.
The building was re-named Hamer Hall in 2004.
The unremarkable Brutalist exterior is clad in pre-cast concrete panels and supported by off-form rough concrete structural elements. The building's footprint is essentially circular and the roof is hidden. A large terrace, supported by a colonnade on the Yarra River side of the building, permitted easy access from St Kilda Road to the riverside. The main feature of Hamer Hall was the main auditorium which seated 2661 guests and was designed for orchestral and contemporary musical performances.
Whilst Hamer Hall wasn't very striking from the outside, the interior was fitted-out by expatriate designer John Truscott, who created a distinctive and luscious environment in which the public could enjoy a 'special night out' in the city. Truscott's generous use of gold leaf, polished timber, and plush carpets provided a rich interior that contrasted with Grounds' plain exterior.
Truscott created unique and distinctive interior spaces that contained only the finest of furnishings and fittings. The use of padded leather as a 'wallpaper' in many of the corridor spaces is certainly something rarely seen elsewhere, but suits the building extraordinarily well. A huge glass chandelier which hands in the foyer was created by Michel Santry and called Arcturus.
In 2010, Hamer Hall closed and a destructive refurbishment commenced which has resulted in significant changes to the building, including:
- Removal of the terrace
- Creation of a new Yarra River level entrance
- Destruction of a substantial part of John Truscott's interiors, including the main auditorium
- Permanent removal of Arcturus
- New foyer, lounge and restaurant spaces