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