WA Museum: Government unveils design for new building set to open in 2020


An artists’ impression of the new WA Museum. Photo: WA Government
An artists’ impression of the new WA Museum. Photo: WA Government

THE State Government has unveiled the design for the new WA Museum, with Brookfield Multiplex and architects OMA and HASSELL awarded the contract for the $428.3 million project.

Premier Colin Barnett made the announcement on Sunday and said the building, which will link contemporary and historic buildings on the site of the existing WA Museum in the Perth Cultural Centre, will be open by 2020.

“The concept cannot fail to impress,” Mr Barnett said.

“It is bold and distinctive, from the vast public plaza to spacious galleries that overlook the CBD and link with important heritage buildings.

“West Australians will share in a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a vibrant new cultural home in the heart of Perth, and to change the way people from around the world engage with the State and our unique stories.”

The museum will be almost four times bigger than the old museum, and feature nearly 7000 square metres of galleries.

It will also include a single 1000 square metre space to stage blockbuster exhibitions.

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said the new building would be an ideal marriage of modern architecture with traditional building.

“The architects have turned the museum concept inside out, a refreshing complement to the old museum’s combination of barred windows, bricked-in arches and high fences,” Mr Day said.

“In contrast, the new museum says ‘come on in’, starting with broad entry ways, expansive views and a golden band running around the exterior.

“This idea, like many in the design, was inspired by an item in the museum’s collections, in this case a geological specimen with a vein of gold.”

Mr Barnett said early work would begin in the next few months, with construction expected to begin in early 2017.

“The project will support up to 3,300 jobs, with about 1,800 workers to be employed on-site during the construction phase,” he said.

“Local content is a high priority, with the Managing Contractor expecting to source about 80 per cent of the goods and services from WA.”