WA Museum Boola Bardip

WA Museum Boola Bardip

Architect
OMA

Hassell
Location
Perth, WA, Australia | View Map
Project Year
2019
Category
Art Galleries

Museums
Stories By
OMA

Nordic Copper from Aurubis Finland
© Peter Bennetts, courtesy of Hassell + OMA

WA Museum Boola Bardip

OMA as Architects

WA Museum Boola Bardip at Perth’s Cultural Centre, designed in joint venture by international design practices Hassell + OMA, has opened to the public. The Museum has been conceived as a ‘collection of stories’ about Western Australia’s diversity, rich history, and contemporary culture. Heritage buildings and new volumes have been connected to offer a variety of curatorial possibilities, and to create the sheltered, outdoor ‘City Room’ for public cultural programs and daily activities, including a nine-day cultural festival celebrating the opening.

The renewed Museum will be a place where the local community and global visitors can gather to engage in diverse cultural experiences. It features additional spaces for exhibitions and events, capacity for national and international touring shows, and new retail and dining opportunities. 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. The ‘City Room’ at the heart of the project is a civic space for a variety of activities and exhibitions, used by the Museum, nearby cultural institutions, and the general public.

Hassell Principal Mark Loughnan said: “The Museum carefully combines and embraces historic and contemporary architecture to provide opportunities for exploration, sharing of ideas, and ongoing storytelling.” He added: “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. OMA Managing Partner – Architect David Gianotten said: “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.” 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.

OMA Regional Director Paul Jones said: “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.”

Hassell Design Director and Principal Peter Dean said: “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. 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.”

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.”

On 25 November, 10 am CET, Hassell + OMA, WA Museum Boola Bardip, and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Australia will join a panel discussion about the architecture of the Museum.

Staircase cladding for The WA Museum Boola Bardip

Nordic Copper from Aurubis Finland as Manufacturers

‘The design aims to make wandering up and down the Nordic Brass staircases, between restored heritage-listed buildings and the new contemporary development, feel seamless to visitors’

 

Three dramatic spiral staircases, clad in Nordic Brass copper alloy, announce intersecting looped pathways helping visitors to explore intuitively a new museum in Perth, Australia.


The WA Museum Boola Bardip in the Perth Cultural Centre was designed as a joint venture by international design practices Hassell + OMA. The new museum, effectively taking up a whole city block, was designed as a series of virtual ​‘stories’ that guide visitors through the major galleries to experience the State’s collections. The design aims to make wandering up and down the Nordic Brass staircases, between restored heritage-listed buildings and the new contemporary development, feel seamless to visitors.

 

Combining Old with New

The old and new come together at the museum’s centre to frame a spectacular outdoor ​‘City Room’ – a public meeting place, event space and program area for the whole community. A 1,000 m2 special exhibition gallery features major exhibitions from around Australia and the world. Retail spaces and places to eat and drink are designed to encourage visitors to continue flowing through the museum – especially after hours – contributing to the precinct’s livelihood and growth.

Fabricator and installer of the three Nordic Brass spiral staircases, Carter Roofing, worked closely with the architects and Managing Contractor Multiplex on design revisions to achieve cost effective layouts, dimensioning and details while retaining the original design intent. Sean Barton of Carter Roofing said:

“everything we do is hand-made. No CAD software was used on the project for fabrication or installation…just pen, paper, tape measure, mathematics and – most of all – patience. We all loved working on it”.

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