At a glance


Victoria, Australia

Type of project



Trades Hall & Literary Institute

Contract type

Design and construct



Iconic restoration project

Multiplex has restored and refurbished the historic three-level Trades Hall building in Carlton, Victoria.

The refurbishment was led by high-profile architect and heritage consultant Lovell Chen, and focused on conservation works and refurbishment for the main public spaces in the 3,800 square metre heritage-listed building.

Works included refurbishment to the New Council Chamber and building services upgrades. The refurbishment also included the specialist restoration of several of the main interiors, including the Old council Chamber and the new and Old Ballrooms. The Old Council Chamber officially opened in 1884. The original 1880s decorative scheme, including significant portraits and elaborate wall treatments, is the work of prominent decorators of the period, C.S. Paterson Brothers.

Works to the New Council Chamber included the recreation of the original footprint resulting in 300 seat auditorium with restored honour boards and murals that had been covered during previous renovations.

It also included construction of modern amenities facilities and a new lift to improve access throughout the building and deliver access to all new areas.

Working within the confines of an existing and occupied building presented many challenges throughout construction, with both worker and material movements tightly scheduled to minimise impact on tenants. Structural changes were also carefully designed to accommodate the existing structure and integrate into the new works.

Project in numbers


heritage-listed building


stages of construction between 1876 and 1925


seat auditorium