Orange Regional Museum (Museum and Community Centre) by Ashley Dennis
2017 - 2018, Golden A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner
Orange City Council sought to create a new iconic building and draw-card for locals and visitors to Orange at the same wanting to repair the fractured space between the existing public library and art gallery. Our solution was to layer the design to create an integrated Building, Landscape and Events spaces to respectfully integrate a new building into the area to establish a cultural precinct. The interior spaces are flexible and adaptable to inspire and encourage repeat visitations to the temporary and permanent exhibitions, functions and various community events.
The building connects a series of previously unsuccessful public open spaces and disparate buildings by incorporating layers of Building, Landscape and Events to respectfully integrate the new building into the existing precinct, creating a new identity and strengthening civic conditions within the site. The design can be understood and experienced in different ways at the human scale as visitors move around, up or through the building, blurring the distinction between architecture and landscape with each interface responding uniquely to its immediate context.
Design Challenges
The precinct comprised a suite of existing buildings including gallery, library and theatre plus various vacant lots within a large block of council land. The museum design was formed in response to site constraints or opportunities including environmental conditions, physical site properties, subterranean conditions and pedestrian flows. The museum site was the most challenging and constrained portion of the precinct but presented the greatest potential to connect a variety of programs, pedestrian routes and view lines with a strong presence to the city centre and adjacent park.
Production Technology
The building envelope is shaped to accentuate a line-of-sight to the existing library and gallery, giving prominence to a significant public building. The public domain strategy incorporates a new civic square to accommodate events while large seating steps create a public amphitheatre and a ramp loops the building, providing access to the lawn. The resolution of the complex, angular geometry and attention to detail were critical for a building that uses a minimal material palette of concrete, glazing, metal panel and grass.
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