by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 01, 2017
A second phase of a US$316 million expansion has opened at the 30-year-old Adelaide (Australia) Convention Centre. The addition of the East Building brings the facility's multipurpose space to 216,000 square feet.
 
"Since opening in 1987, the Convention Centre has been a great South Australian success story," said Alec Gilbert, CEO of the facility. "The future looks even brighter, with the expanded venue forecast to inject an additional US$1.53 billion into the state's economy over the next 25 years."
 
The new East Building was constructed on the site of the center's original plenary building, and the design was inspired by the granite boulders of the Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island. The building features a state-of-the-art Plenary Hall with tiered seating for 3,500 that can be converted to 32,400 square feet of exhibit space. The hall, which can be subdivided into more than 15 configurations, features a "Starry Night" backdrop with more than 35,000 fiber-optic lights on the underside of the hinged seating, creating a starry sky when the seats are lifted out of the way. 
 
The first major event to be held in the newly expanded center will be the International Astronautical Congress, a 3,500-participant gathering scheduled for Sept. 25-29.
 
Another new feature to become available soon is the Skyway, an elevated walkway that will be finished in November, connecting the facility's three buildings.