in december 2019, OMA and HASSELL announced that they had completed construction of the ‘new museum for western australia’ in perth. now, with the building temporarily closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, photographer nils koenning has shared his footage of the project. comprising heritage and new structures, the design — which was developed jointly by the two firms — was conceived as a ‘collection of stories’ that offer a multidimensional framework.
all images and video © nils koenning
‘our vision for the design was to create a space that promotes engagement and collaboration, responding to the needs of the museum and the community,’ explains HASSELL principal mark loughnan.‘we wanted it to be a civic place for everyone; an interesting mix of heritage and contemporary architecture, that contributes to the revitalization of perth’s cultural precinct whilst celebrating the culture of western australia on the world stage.’
refurbished heritage buildings and newly built volumes house the museum exhibitions, event spaces, and public areas. two intersecting circulation loops — one vertical and one horizontal — connect and organize the museum’s content, which includes a world-renowned meteorite collection and a blue whale skeleton.
‘western australia’s natural resources, culture and history are diverse. instead of prescribing a singular interpretation of western australia, the loops enable visitors to engage with the museum’s collection in distinctive ways, and tell the manifold stories of the place,’ explains OMA managing partner, david gianotten.
a core element of the design is the ‘city room’ — a sheltered outdoor public space at the center of the museum. the city room is an open space for everyone to stimulate their imagination and creativity and participate in a variety of activities, from large scale community events to smaller gatherings. elsewhere, a large new temporary gallery space complements the museum’s permanent collection.
name: new museum for western australia
location: perth, australia
design:HASSELL + OMA
previous coverage: august 2016, december 2019
photography: nils koenning