West Gippsland Arts Centre


West Gippsland Arts Centre

The $14.1 million redevelopment of the West Gippsland Arts Centre is the largest capital works project ever undertaken by the Baw Baw Shire Council. Among the extensive scope of works the biggest change is the significantly expanded auditorium that saw the original dream of the Arts centre come true from over 30 years ago when built in 1982, increasing the seating capacity from 480 to 750. This, along with a new cafe and bar space, new meeting areas and improved connection between the public spaces and exterior forecourt will open up new opportunities for the region to attract large scale performances and productions.

The interior design of the Arts Centre blends old and new, with historic features such as original brickwork that has been painstakingly exposed and refurbished paired with beautifully finished sleek timber details. Over 600 meters of custom-made linear lighting was installed across the Arts Centre all with high CRI chips. This offers the best possible colour and texture rendition to the architectural elements and finishes throughout the spaces. The linear lighting seamlessly runs across both horizontal and vertical surfaces and through various finishes of tile, plaster and wood linking all of the finishes together with a continuous stream of light. Efficient Lighting Systems worked closely with Lighting & Electrical Distributors and the electrical engineer and contractor to ensure some tricky elements of the lighting plan could be perfectly executed and married with the architectural features of the build. A combination of System 50, System 66, SL30 and SL40 was used throughout.

It was imperative in the auditorium space that the lighting dim smoothly to the lowest possible level to accommodate the beginning and end of performances. To achieve this ADL XIM high CRI downlights were used and enable smooth, flicker free dimming down to 0.1%. Vertically mounted RGBW SL30 was also installed in the auditorium’s unique panelled walls and allows the lighting to be customised for each performance.

Another custom solution was achieved for the bar area which required both task lighting onto the bar and RGBW up lighting onto a glass ceiling above that is visible from the exterior forecourt. High CRI Display Track lights were installed in a suspended linear lighting profile providing task lighting to the bar while also having upward RGBW continuous light to illuminate the glass ceiling.

The exterior forecourt was another important area of the redevelopment as it is a space patrons can relax and mingle before and after performances. Ligman Lightalk RGBW luminaires have allowed for the theatre to extend outside to this area while Ligman Odessa Post Top luminaires were chosen for their ability to illuminate both pedestrian areas and highlight landscaping features all with the one post top.


Baw Baw Shire Council
Engineer – BRT Consulting
Architect – Williams Ross

Photography​ & Video

Glenn Hester