OMA, Hassell to design new WA museum

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The Jubilee Wing of the existing Western Australian Museum.

The Jubilee Wing of the existing Western Australian Museum. Image: Robert Frith

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In 1999, new glass foyer was built between the Jubilee Wing and Hackett Hall of the Western Australian Museum.

In 1999, new glass foyer was built between the Jubilee Wing and Hackett Hall of the Western Australian Museum. Image: Western Australian Museum

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The Government of Western Australia has announced that a consortium comprising OMA, Hassell and Brookfield Multiplex will design and construct the new $428 million Western Australian Museum.

“OMA and its principal, Rem Koolhaas, are well-known for creating dramatic architecture. Hassell has also developed a considerable international reputation,” said WA Culture and Arts Minister John Day.

“OMA has a vast portfolio of international projects including the expansion of Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec, the Seattle Public Library and the China Central Television Building in Beijing,” Day continued. “Hassell […] is best known to Australian audiences for projects such as the [competition winning proposal for the] redevelopment of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station and Sydney’s Darling Harbour.”

In 1999, new glass foyer was built between the Jubilee Wing and Hackett Hall of the Western Australian Museum. Image:  Western Australian Museum

The WA government will now engage in further negotiations exclusively with the consortium on the design, construction and programming of the project. In case the negotiations fail to succeed, the government has approved a reserve proposal by French practice Ateliers Jean Nouvel, local practices Cameron Chisholm Nicol and Parry and Rosenthal Architects and construction company Doric.

The new 23,000-square-metre museum will be built in the Perth Cultural Centre on the site of the existing museum incorporating several heritage buildings. Conservation works on buildings in the precinct including the Old Gaol, Hackett Hall, and the Jubilee and Beaufort Street wings, have already been completed.

The WA government invited expressions of interest for a managing contractor for the project in late 2014. In June 2015, three consortia were shortlisted, the third was Foster and Partners with Hames Sharley (led by John Holland).

The winning design is expected to be unveiled in mid-2016. The new museum is due to open in 2020.


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