Submitted by WA Contents
WA Museum Boola Bardip by Hassell + OMA opens to the public in Perth, Australia
Australia Architecture News - Nov 23, 2020 - 15:55 9554 views
The team combined renovated heritage-listed buildings with new volumes, a pair of protruding volumes create an outdoor "City Room" for public cultural programs and daily activities, including a nine-day cultural festival celebrating the opening.
Aiming to offer a variety of curatorial possibilities and to create a sheltered public space, the new museum has been conceived as a "collection of stories" about Western Australia’s diversity, rich history, and contemporary culture.
As OMA and Hassell highlight, the renewed museum will be a place where the local community and global visitors can gather to engage in diverse cultural experiences.
The new building features additional spaces for exhibitions and events, capacity for national and international touring shows, and new retail and dining opportunities.
On site, there are preserved and revitalised buildings, including the Old Gaol dating from the mid-19th Century, the Jubilee Building built in 1899, the original Art Gallery built in 1908 and Hackett Hall—the State Library's reading room built in 1913.
The team created two intersecting circulation loops - one vertical and one horizontal – connect the refurbished historic buildings and new structures, while offering multiple routes for different experiences of the Museum’s content.
There is a "City Room" at the heart of the project which is used as a civic space for a variety of activities and exhibitions, used by the Museum, nearby cultural institutions, and the general public.
"The Museum carefully combines and embraces historic and contemporary architecture to provide opportunities for exploration, sharing of ideas, and ongoing storytelling," said Hassell Principal Mark Loughnan.
"We are proud to have designed a new and unique architectural identity that also opens and connects generously to its context and the city."
The old and new structures embody the State’s rich architectural and cultural history and offer spaces to share diverse stories to local and international audiences. Visitors can gather at the City Room for activities that shape the State’s contemporary culture.
"The Museum is deeply rooted in Western Australia. We are proud to have created an architecture where the State’s culture is passed on and continuously made," said David Gianotten, OMA Managing Partner.
Hassell + OMA have worked as one team in Perth to deliver the Museum in partnership with managing contractor Multiplex, drawing on both practices’ extensive experience in design and construction of large-scale cultural projects.
The team was led by Hassell’s Mark Loughnan and Peter Dean and OMA’s David Gianotten and Paul Jones.
"The Museum is unique in both the Australian and international cultural landscape. It invites visitors to not only passively look at exhibitions, but also become active creators of their own museum experiences. Visitors can choose museum journeys relevant to them and engage in dialogues with each other," said OMA Regional Director Paul Jones.
"We’re proud to have successfully designed and delivered an international civic project that involved extensive collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders, in particular the Whadjuk elders," said Hassell Design Director and Principal Peter Dean.
"This collaboration and local community consultation helped evolve the WA Museum Boola Bardip to become another legacy project for Perth’s future as an international cultural destination," Dean added.
Western Australian Museum Chief Executive Officer Alec Coles said "the new WA Museum Boola Bardip is a landmark building within the heart of the Perth Cultural Centre precinct."
"The architectural team of Hassell + OMA and the contractors, Multiplex have produced a magnificent new building that embraces the heritage buildings within, whilst creating spectacular new experiences. It is a Museum of which I hope all Western Australians will be proud."
Hassell is a leading international design practice with studios in Asia, Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Their purpose is to design the world’s best places – places people love.
OMA is a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis. OMA’s buildings and masterplans around the world insist on intelligent forms while inventing new possibilities for content and everyday use.
OMA is led by eight partners – Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Shohei Shigematsu, Iyad Alsaka, David Gianotten, Chris van Duijn, Jason Long.
Project name: WA Museum Boola Bardip
Location: Perth, Australia
Client: Multiplex, State Government of Western Australia
Partner: David Gianotten
Project Director: Paul Jones
JV Partner: Hassell
Managing Contractor: Multiplex
Structural Engineer: BG&E
Services Engineer: Wood & Grieve
Façade Engineer: Hera
Heritage Architect: Element
ESD Engineers: Atelier 10
Building Surveyor: JMG
Signage& Wayfinding: Studio Ongarato
All images © Peter Bennetts, courtesy of Hassell + OMA