Traditional Custodians of the land
Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation

Melbourne Exhibition
and Convention Centre,
Melbourne, VIC

Completion Date
October 2021

THE LUME Australia

Architect & Interiors
Decibel Architecture

Structure, Services & Fire Engineering

Structure – Fitout

Marshall Day

Building Surveyor

Building Contractor
Lexon Group

THE LUME Melbourne
and Carlos Alcaide


THE LUME Melbourne is Australia’s first permanent digital art gallery. A gallery in which the visitor is fully immersed in a multi-sensory experience. THE LUME Australia has created highly curated content across a series of art-orientated themes for both the public and private functions. It is housed across two of the MCEC’s massive halls and provides a series of educational, retail and operational spaces around the principal Main Gallery.


Our client, THE LUME Australia came to dB(A) with a strong concept based on its years of creating and hosting travelling immersive shows. Decibel Architecture worked closely with the client’s technical team, a specialist consultant team and the building contractor to deliver the project in a highly coordinated way within a fast-tracked programme. Due to its contextual and operational requirements, the project was subject to a level of architectural and legislative challenges unusual for exhibition design projects. We were able to apply our architectural expertise, not only in design, but in delivery, stake-holder management, consultant team coordination and communication to successfully complete THE LUME.

(The Journey)

A matte black gateway projects dramatically into the MCEC’s entry concourse, disrupting its extruded continuity and clearly marking the gallery’s entry-point. The patrons’ journey begins as they pass through one of the three wall-papered tunnels into the intimately-lit Introduction and Interpretation space. The visitor’s sense of space is disorientated and compressed as they pass through a light locking corridor before it is expanded when emerging into the vastness of the Main Gallery.

(Design and Experience)

The architectural environment is designed to allow every surface, including the floor, to become the canvas upon which the gallery’s animated content is projected. Large-scale objects in space subtly divide the space into experiential zones inviting different perspectives of the immersive programme. A long mezzanine with a frameless glazed balustrade provides an elevated advantage point down onto the gallery space.


The fast-track delivery model employed for the project allowed the works to be delivered within the client’s programme. A first stage of documentation allowed the structural and acoustic work to commence on site whilst the architectural and building services scope were being documented and certified. Through careful programming, the Main Gallery space was able to be handed over to THE LUME’s technical team to install and commission its audio-visual infrastructure, whilst the auxiliary spaces were built and fitted out.


The delivery of major built elements such as a 80m long, 11m high acoustic wall between THE LUME’s tenancy and its neighbouring hall were possible due to the successful management of a large array of project stakeholders. Finally, the committed working relationship between client, architect and builder ensured clear lines of communication and understanding of responsibilities and led to a successful project delivery.