Art Gallery of Western Australia

Art Gallery of Western Australia
in association with TAG

The iconic late 20th century brutalist Art Gallery of Western Australia has been enhanced and adjusted through a series of new inversions and additions: A new elevator tower of complementary geometry but contrasting material provides public access to the rooftop. A roof deck and associated landscaping to form an inviting sculptural garden. A roof top art screen developed with Minang/Wardandi/Bibbulmun artist Christopher Pease.
The offset of the lift, creates a new tension between the existing building and the landscape. A new and exciting experience is provided for the visitor. The sharp triangular form of the lift can be read against the sky as both a singular and a connected element, enticing the visitor to explore further — the impact of this simple move is powerful.

In contrast, the softening of the edges of the roof terrace extends the concept of a greener urban landscape which has been recently introduced into the PCC — aligning with the original design for the gallery and introducing a more inclusive response to the precinct. Working with the Whadjuk Noongar knowledge holders, the selected planting represents their six seasons and reinforces the setting of the AGWA in the cultural landscape of the Whadjuk Noongar.

The timber deck is subtly lifted to enable views across the precinct, providing a safe and inclusive design, cleverly concealing precinct wide roof top services.

Working with an existing building which has undergone many 'add ons', the intent was to provide a new layer, clearly identified but strongly referencing the original architecture. The material palette is deliberately restrained, acknowledging the original materials of sand coloured concrete blocks, bronze aluminium and stainless steel.

Although modest in budget and scope, the proposal is impactful and 'elevates', as was the intent, AGWA into the new phase of the wider precinct and a new experience for the gallery.

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