Image courtesy WA Museum, photo by Robert Firth.
A consortium of local firm Hassell, Dutch architects OMA, and Brookfield Multiplex has been chosen to design the new $428 million museum for Western Australia, the State Government has announced.
In addition to a new museum building, the plans include improved public space and the refurbishment of existing heritage buildings. Improvements to the façades of the Old Gaol, Hackett Hall, Jubilee and Beaufort Street buildings have now been completed.
Hon John Day MLA, Minister for Culture and the Arts, commented on the importance of the new museum. “The new museum for Western Australia will be at the heart of its community – a place where people can explore their identity, culture, environment and sense of place. It will be inclusive and inspirational, allowing people to share their stories physically and virtually,” he said.
The Western Australia Museum has a long and rich history, originally being housed in the Old Perth Gaol from 1891, before shifting to the Jubilee Building eight years later. Following WWII, the George Weick gallery was built to house the Museum’s collection of military arms and medals, then after three years of work, the museum was moved to the brand-new Francis Street building. Then finally, in 1980, the museum moved to its most recent home on Roe Street, which closed in 2003 due to safety reasons.
The project for the new museum is part of State Government’s “Get The Bigger Picture” initiative, which has also included the restoration of Elizabeth Quay, as well as the construction of four new buildings in King’s Square.
Concept designs for the museum will be released mid-2016 when the contract is awarded, with construction set to be completed in 2020.