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The Capitol
Refurbishment

Client
RMIT University
Sector
  • Arts & Culture,
  • Tertiary Education
Value
$26 million
Completion
2018 - 2019
Services
  • Project Management

RMIT University sought to upgrade the iconic Melbourne Capitol Theatre in the Melbourne CBD for their College of Design and Social Context.  The objective was to complete works to the four-level cinema complex all while the residential apartments and ground floor retailers remained occupied. Relaunched as The Capitol in June 2019 the complex is now a contemporary centre for culture, education and innovation.

Project Overview

The Capitol project involved restoration of the 1920’s heritage-listed iconic theatre fabric while retrofitting leading edge cinema technology. RMIT’s objective was to provide unique opportunities for hands on student experiences from industry professionals, access to world-class learning and teaching facilities, and exposure to research and innovation opportunities.

The refurbishment occurred over multiple phases and includes café and bar facilities, collaboration spaces, lighting and sound upgrades, and cinema projection enhancements.

Our Role

Root Partnerships (RP) was seconded into the RMIT project team to oversee the construction works, including an $8 million variation four months before Practical Completion.  RP facilitated multiple internal University stakeholders, including educational users and the operational team through to operational readiness for The Capitol’s public relaunch.  Weekly reviews were used to monitor the Contractor’s and RMIT’s internal operational stakeholders’ performance and realise the project to the University’s satisfaction.

RP also facilitated the engagement of the attached residential and commercial tenants during works that included repairs to the iconic plasterboard ceiling and mechanical systems upgrades and managed the design, construction and installation of the central philanthropic installation acknowledging over 150 individual donations.

Key Challenge

RP successfully steered the design of RMIT’s teaching requirements, including a broadband telecast link back to the CBD main campus for live streaming with the heritage restoration works to deliver on Heritage Victoria’s requirements. RP also successfully steered the residential tenants’ expectations and requirements during the cinemas systems upgrades that included replacement of basement electrical and roof top mechanical systems.