Fortress e-Sports, Emporium Melbourne, Australia

Client: Fortress E-Sports Melbourne

Architect: Populous

The first of its kind in Australia, Fortress Melbourne is a purpose built e-sports entertainment and gaming venue.

Spanning 3 levels and approximately 2,700 m² at luxury shopping centre Emporium, the tenancy fitout includes a 200 seat e-sports arena, live broadcast production facility, dedicated LAN and multifunction rooms, and general purpose gaming and bar areas.

Our client was targeting a visually stunning space, with the design also considering cost, ongoing maintenance and operational requirements. NDY’s team of consultants explored multiple options to ensure Fortress could make informed decisions on how to develop their new venue.

Initial solutions maximised the look and feel of the space. In collaboration with the architect and other project partners, the design prioritised the key aspects of function and aesthetics. For example, minimal lighting and acoustic treatment was provided to the LAN lounge (where gamers play individually with headphones), whilst the Streamer Pods include focused lighting and heavily treated acoustic elements. A feature glass wall showcases the main server room, allowing visitors an inside peek at the venue’s ‘engine’.

Specialist lighting enhances the space by creating gamer-style ambience and sparkle, particularly throughout the e-sports arena. Colour changing LED strips create an e-sports spectacle, and feature within signage and wall panelling to create a ‘Fortress Green’ area with the ability to deliver customised responses to specific games, sponsors or events; and with dynamic programming enabling automatic responses to individual gaming elements (for example, highlight moments or gamer elimination).

With the project an exciting blueprint for potential rollout to other locations, the venue is set to become a landmark for the wildly popular e-sports and video gaming phenomenon, providing a central Melbourne location for fans to gather, watch and play as a community.