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MARS Gallery, Melbourne

Jul 23, 2014
  • Article by Online Editor

Architect: Jam Architects
Photographer: David Simmonds

With towering five-meter ceilings, a dedicated video-installation gallery and permanent spaces for drawing and sculpture, the new MARS Gallery represents a benchmark for Australian galleries.

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MARS (Melbourne Art Rooms) was established by gallerist Andy Dinan in Port Melbourne in 2004 and now, in its tenth year, is celebrating by opening a purpose-built gallery in the hip Melbourne pocket of Windsor. The new space represents something of a rebirth to the well-established gallery with new artists and new projects.

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Designed by Chris Manton of Jam Architects, the street level gallery with high ceilings and a total glass facade demystifies the art experience and opens the gallery to the viewing public.

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Amongst the elements that makes the new MARS stand out is a standalone video-projection room, which is curated by artist Brie Trenerry. There is also a purpose-built Light Room to exhibit light and neon art, and a Drawing Room, which is a dedicated space for this often-neglected media.

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Completing the picture is a massive basement storage facility, which houses stockroom items and provides an ideal environment for viewing works.

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The new MARS Gallery also boasts an impressive 7 star environmental rating, with features including:

  • High levels of thermal mass to stabilise internal temperatures and reduce the need for heating and cooling
  • Double glazing and insulation keep the heat out in summer and in in winter
  • Excellent air quality through carefully selected materials including paints and flooring
  • Smart metering to enable the gallery to monitor and reduce energy and water use
  • Hydronic heating in the offices
  • Photovoltaics on the roof generate electricity
  • Rainwater is collected from the roof of the building and used to flush toilets
  • Highly efficient water fittings and fixtures
  • Recycled timber floors
  • Environmentally friendly materials
  • Bike parking for staff and visitors

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www.jamarchitects.com.au

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