Victoria’s Pride Centre is a step closer to construction with the unveiling of a concept design for the proposed multi-storey building in St Kilda.
The Victorian Pride Centre will be a hub and permanent home for 10 major LGBTI organisations including radio station JOY FM, the Victorian Aids Council and the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
There will also be multi-use spaces, a health service, library, training room, meeting rooms, a prayer room, café and bar, theatrette and gallery for use by community groups.
The proposed design, by local architecture firms Grant Amon Architects and Brearley Architects and Urbanists, was selected by an expert panel from more than a dozen entries.
Victorian Pride Centre chair Jude Munro said the Pride Centre will be an “uplifting” and inclusive space for the LGBTI community.
“With over 18 submissions received, we wanted the winning design to be a building that our LGBTQI community can be proud of owning, a place of celebration and a safe sanctuary,” she said.
“This design is inspirational and more than satisfies these criteria.
“Our aim is for the Pride Centre to be a catalyst for the revival of Fitzroy Street and to fit into the St Kilda design vernacular which this design does superbly.
“With the recent outcome from the marriage equality vote and accompanying legislation, this building will serve as a legacy to the historical change that occurred in Australia last year.”
Munro said construction of the Pride Centre is on track to begin later this year, and the centre is due to be open by 2020.
The building’s design was unveiled on Sunday, the day Melbourne’s LGBTI community marched in reported record numbers as part of the state’s three-week Midsumma festival.
Victorian Equality Minister Martin Foley on Sunday announced $600,000 in funding over three years for the Midsumma festival.
Foley congratulated said the Pride Centre will be “a vibrant symbol of LGBTI resilience and inclusion.”
“It will be a space for the community and LGBTI organisations to share ideas, collaborate and celebrate our diversity – it’s also at a key site the Pride march goes past,” he said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews added, “It’s really important to celebrate what has been a very difficult history in many ways over a long period of time, but also give a place where communities and community organisations can congregate.”
The Pride Centre was first announced in 2016 by the Victorian government, which contributed $15 million to the building’s construction.
The City of Port Phillip contributed an additional $13 million to the project.