MONA is the result of a unique collaboration between David Walsh, self-styled art collector and philanthropist, and Fender Katsalidis Architects. Together they have created a powerful and entertaining experience for displaying and engaging with art and, by extension, one of the best examples in the country of the benefits of cultural tourism.
The building is carved into a peninsula of Hobart’s Moorilla Estate where its waffle concrete and Coreten steel container are already weathering inexorably into the landscape. A green roof and sculpture terrace re-establish the land’s original profile. The arrival and departure from the Derwent is dramatic and unforgettable.
The Roy Grounds heritage-listed house is repurposed as the museum entrance. A glass lift or spiral staircase theatrically delivers visitors to the lowest levels of a deep cutting where a rock-hewn corridor leads to a sandstone-walled space housing the museum. The raw materiality continues throughout, with the building’s sculptural envelope fully exposed internally.
Planning of gallery chambers and level interconnections is deliberately unconventional, eschewing a programmed circulation strategy for individual journeys of discovery.
The immediate and long-term impact of this museum on the city of Hobart, the state of Tasmania and indeed the nation is difficult to overstate.
- Fender Katsalidis Architects
- Project Team
- Nonda Katsalidis, Robyn Bartley, Milena Beames, Roland Catalani, Man Ching Chan, Coen Chin, Karl Fender, Daniel Goldin, Kathie Hall, Ashley Hunnisett, Andromeda Hutchins, Nicolina Iuliano, Shem Kelder, Wayne King, John Lamb, Jessica Lee, Andrea Mancuso, James Pearce, Falk Peuser, Anne Sophie Poirier, Tom Robertson, Rochelle Rosenwax, Eve Sayer, Natalie Stone, Andrew Walter,
Hansen Yuncken Melbourne
Building surveyor Philip Chun & Associates, Braddon Building Surveying
Civil engineers Johnstone McGee Gandy Engineers and Planners
Council Glenorchy City Council
Design consultant Tandem Design Studio
Fire engineering Lake Young & Associates
Landscape architect Oculus Landscape Architecture & Urban Design
Quantity surveyor Rider Levett Bucknall – Melbourne
Services engineer WSP Lincolne Scott
Structural engineering Felicetti
Superintendent Gallagher Jeffs Consulting
Technology consultant Aegres
- Site Details
655 Main Road,
Site type Suburban
- Project Details
Category Public / cultural
Type Culture / arts, Exhibitions
Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart
Published online: 2 Nov 2012
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2012
Images: Courtesy of MONA
Architecture Australia, November 2012