A brand new immersive video art exhibition has opened at Melbourne Central as part of the precinct’s Lower Ground level refurbishment designed by Melbourne architecture firm Kennedy Nolan.

The $5 million Lower Ground transformation was inspired by the combined creative vision of Kennedy Nolan and Melbourne Central to create a seamless extension of the city’s laneways, art and culture.

Australia's largest exhibition of video art outside of an institution, the Melbourne Central Art Loop is an immersive video art experience running simultaneously on fifteen state-of-the-art LCD screens and five large steel overhead projector portals located throughout the Lower Ground level.

Michael Macleod, Project Architect at Kennedy Nolan explained that they redesigned Melbourne Central’s Lower Ground keeping in mind the urban scale of the precinct. For instance, familiar materials from Melbourne streets have been reinterpreted for the refurbishment with concrete tram safety stops used as bases for tables, bluestone footpaths becoming randomised floor tiling complete with zebra crossings, and fluoro orange traffic mirrors transformed into a ceiling.

According to Macleod, neon signage and custom designed light fittings are used to create colour and rhythm, while the large steel portals have been introduced as landmarks, framing connections to upper levels. New furniture and balustrades are inspired by the original designer of the building, Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, and his love of pure geometry such as cones and circles.

Kennedy Nolan’s work builds on the transformative contribution of Melbourne architects ARM (Ashton Raggatt McDougall), who first opened Melbourne Central up to the CBD through their design of the centre’s 2002 redevelopment.

Observing that the immersive installation has changed the experience on Lower Ground, Leigh Dunn, General Manager of Melbourne Central says it will surprise and entertain the 51 million people who visit and pass through the precinct every year. He believes the addition of Art Loop combined with the new design and architectural features will create an unconventional and exciting retail experience for both shoppers as well as retailers.

Curated by established gallerist Andy Dinan of MARS Gallery, Art Loop’s first show is an exhibition of colourful and interactive video art featuring more than 30 internationally renowned and emerging Australian artists including Kieran Boland, Erin Coates, Simon Finn and Diego Ramirez, with one participating Art Loop artist to be selected to win a trip to LOOP Barcelona 2017 – the biggest international festival for video art.

Melbourne Central Art Loop is free to all visitors with artworks and artists rotating on a regular basis.

The inaugural show at the Melbourne Central Art Loop is being held from March to July 2016.

Image: A brand new immersive video art exhibition has opened at Melbourne Central as part of the precinct’s Lower Ground level refurbishment