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3D Great Hall reconstruction from the 1866 intercolonial exhibition

Speaker(s): Harriet Edquist

  • Date recorded: 5 Jun 2013

  • Duration: 3:56

'Edward La Trobe Bateman used the most up-to-date ideas about interior decoration, and became almost a world leader in this new form of interior design.'

- Harriet Edquist

About this video

Almost 20 years before the Royal Exhibition Building was erected, the Great Hall was built as a temporary exhibition building on the site of the Library’s Domed Reading Room.

Like all colonial-era exhibition buildings, the Great Hall was built to show off the country’s wealth, industrial prowess and raw materials.

This 3D tour of the reimagined Great Hall and adjacent Rotunda re-creates the cutting-edge colour scheme of blue and pink used by designer Edward La Trobe Bateman, and its walls hung with tiers of mid-Victorian artworks.

This video was commissioned for our Free, secular and democratic: building the Public Library 1853–1913 exhibition.


Harriet Edquist is Professor of Architectural History in the School of Architecture and Design, and the Director of RMIT Design Archives, where she has an on-going role in overseeing the archival and research of Melbourne architecture and design practices.

She was the curator of the Free Secular & Democratic: Melbourne Public Library 1853-1913 exhibition held at the State Library of Victoria in mid-2013.