Plan your visit
Click on the area you are interested in finding out more about:
Address: 180 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds
Phone: 03 8325 1750
Opening hours: 11am–4pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Free entry. Have a look at our current exhibitions.
Christmas holiday opening hours: The gallery will be closed from Monday, 21 December 2015 - Monday, 4 January 2016.
Train: a 10 minute walk down Holmes Road from Moonee Ponds station on the Craigieburn Line
Tram: get off at stop 41 on the number 57 tram and walk about 10 minutes along the Maribyrnong River past the Boathouse Restaurant
Plan your visit on public transport.
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The Incinerator Gallery does not have any onsite food or drink but you can make a day
of your trip by visiting one of the nearby restaurants or cafes.
The Boathouse Restaurant
Modern Australian cuisine from MasterChef judge Gary Mehigan right on the banks of
the Maribyrnong River. Find out more.
The Boulevard Café at Poyntons Nursery
An extensive seasonal à la carte menu with fine wines and a great riverside view,
located in the heart of the beautiful Poyntons Nursery. Find out more.
Union Road and Puckle Street Precincts
A number of fine restaurants, bars and cafes are located only a five-minute drive from
the gallery at these busy and popular shopping strips. Find out more about Union Road and Puckle Street.
The Incinerator Gallery is the last remaining Walter Burley Griffin designed incinerator left in Victoria and one of only six left in the country.
The Royal College of Architects named it as among the 30 most important buildings in the state in 2003, it is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and was listed on the National Heritage Buildings Register until the register was disbanded in 2012.
The story of the Incinerator highlights a proud moment in Australia’s history, when our country developed an innovative, economical and technologically advanced solution to waste disposal that was envied worldwide.
The story of the Incinerator
The City of Essendon commissioned world-renowned architect Walter Burley Griffin and engineering company REICO in 1929 to build a state of the art and world-leading incinerator. They wanted a building to house the furnaces that would burn the city’s waste but not look like an industrial facility.
Griffin’s proposal achieved this by following the principles of Prairie School architecture that were developed earlier in his career in Chicago with local architects including Frank Lloyd Wright. His aim was to create a building that fitted harmoniously into its environment with Griffin stating that “the final test of modernism is the replacement of industrial eyesores”.
The City of Essendon’s new building was lauded for its beauty and effectiveness and used until it was decommissioned in 1942. It was left to deteriorate until 1984, when the City of Essendon reopened the facility as a community theatre before closing again after a few years due to funding issues. Its arts legacy was not long forgotten though, with the site undergoing a conservation program, reopening as a multi-arts facility in 2004 as the Incinerator Arts Complex.
The venue was renamed the Incinerator Gallery in 2011 and refocused on a new plan to establish it as a premier visual arts destination in Melbourne’s West.
Our vision is to create a professionally accredited public art gallery to serve Melbourne’s West, which explores the impact of industry on society and the environment, using a platform of art for social change. It is time that Melbourne’s West had the same opportunities to see the many touring exhibitions that travel to the eastern suburbs and rural Victoria.
Our vision is also to protect our country’s historically significant buildings for all Australians. The Incinerator Gallery is a beautiful building with an important place in Australia’s industrial past and has potential to be a shining gem enjoyed by everyone.