ARM completes National Museum of Australia expansion

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ARM architecture and Exhibition designer Local Projects has delivered a $34 million revitalization of galleries and play spaces for the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, marking its biggest redevelopment since it opened in 2001.

The 2,500 square meter redevelopment, including the renovated Great Southern Land Gallery and the Tim and Gina Fairfax Discovery Centre, follows the original design of the ARM Museum building, conceived as a “Boolean chain” in 1997, and its later extensions to the over the past 20 years. years.

The redevelopment builds on the architectural themes established in the 1997 museum concept, now used to shape a new lakeside window and staircase and a revitalized mezzanine at the center of the exhibition space.

As a social history museum, the renovation was undertaken to “keep pace” with the changes the nation has seen over the past 20 years, museum director Mathew Trinca said.

Based on ARM’s master plan, Local Projects revitalized the exhibition space by significantly opening up the interior volume to improve the exhibition layout and navigation tools. The completed redevelopment includes the museum’s largest gallery to date, as well as new immersive play areas for children.

The architects revitalized the exhibition space by significantly opening up the interior volume to improve the exhibition layout and navigation tools.

Image: Anne Stroud

The expansion with the integration of new technologies has allowed the introduction of 2,000 additional traditional and digital objects to be exhibited in the museum. The new design increases connectivity with Lake Burley Griffin, opening up the lakefront facade through a “dramatic, curving, red glazed staircase.”

ARM director and architect of the original museum, Howard Raggatt, said the design of the exhibit “achieves the original intent of the museum,” with the layout leaving room for experience and appreciation. of the unique shape of the building.

“The design now allows for spectacular views over Canberra, while the Discovery Center opens up a part of the museum that was not previously accessible,” said Raggatt. “The redevelopment is a key step in the master plan’s overall vision and we look forward to the unveiling of the remaining steps over the coming years.”

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