Art Gallery of WA to develop rooftop for cultural and commercial purposes

Artist impressions of the roof activation by day and by night.
Art Gallery of WA to develop rooftop for cultural and commercial purposes
Artist impressions of the roof activation by day and by night.

ART Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) in Perth has announced plans to embark on a development of its expansive unused rooftop for cultural and commercial purposes.

The redevelopment and activation will be ready in time for the gallery’s 125th anniversary in 2020.

The project, dubbed ‘AGWAElevate2020’ will be its first capital development in the 25 years since the old Perth court was converted to the Centenary Galleries.

The planned public/private partnership is projected to cost about $25 million, and will deliver a new rooftop destination with a commissioned work by a major artist of international standing, other outdoor art displays, a flexible cinema/performance space, a community gathering space and a restaurant.

The current staff car park on Beaufort Street will be turned into a garden space dedicated to arts displays.

Both new spaces will welcome potential PIAF, Fringe World and other local residencies.

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Other enhancements include an extension to the current café facing the Perth train station and an improved and relocated Education and Guide Centre in the Beaufort Street wing.

The conceptual design work on the project was undertaken by AGWA Foundation member Fred Chaney.

AGWA chairman Sam Walsh was pleased to announce the project after his first board meeting:

“In challenging financial times this rooftop development and the other significant enhancements are an exciting and achievable goal for the gallery,” he said.

“They will deliver a new attraction for Perth in time for our big anniversaries in 2019 and 2020.

“I thank the new Government of WA for the significant vote of confidence they have given this project with a financial commitment of $10 million which makes it an achievable goal with other private and public partners.”

WA Chamber of Arts and Culture chair Helen Cook welcomed the plans.

“The AGWA rooftop and garden project is the right idea at the right time and I hope that both the public and private sector get behind it,” she said.

“The project promises to make a real difference to the Perth Cultural Centre and will help to increase the vitality of artistic life in Western Australia.”

The Art Gallery of Western Australia will celebrate the 125th anniversary since its foundation during 2020.

The current main gallery building was opened in 1979 and the 40th anniversary will be celebrated in 2019.