May 16, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: Artist’s impression of the interior of The Fox: NGV Contemporary

Early works for the $1.7 billion transformation of Melbourne’s arts precinct on the edge of the central business district are set to get underway next month, with Australia’s largest cultural infrastructure project expected to be complete in 2028.

The transformation will deliver a major new art gallery – The Fox: NGV Contemporary, named after trucking magnate Linsay Fox, who has donated $100 million to the development – and for Arts Centre Melbourne, a new Centre for Creativity building, new education, workshop and rehearsal studios as well as major refurbishments to existing spaces. The project will also create 18,000m2 of outdoor public space, which will be able to host outdoor events, art and performances.

The new contemporary art museum will be the largest in Australia and feature a 40m high spherical hall and a rooftop sculpture terrace and restaurant with views of Melbourne’s skyline.

While no announcements have been made, it’s probable that the new gallery will yield new event spaces, like its sister venue, the National Gallery of Victoria, which will remain in play in front of the new building.

“Victoria is known as the creative state for a reason – our galleries, museums, libraries, music venues, theatres and festivals bring millions of people here every year, helping grow our economy and create jobs,” said Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson.

“These early works will deliver hundreds of jobs and signify the beginning of an exciting new era for the state’s creative sector.”

“Victorians love the arts precinct and it has served us well – but the transformation will take that to a new plane, entertaining and illuminating us for decades to come and bringing visitors from around the world.”