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Bendigo Museum grows into its new metallic skin

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Unveiled to the public at the museum’s recent 20th anniversary celebrations, the extension of Bendigo’s Golden Dragon Museum was designed to reflect links to Chinese cultural philosophy.

Woods Bagot designed the additions, with glowing metallic skin and lightly ornamented appearance.

Bruno Mendes, the design leader from Woods Bagot, said the rising of the building to a third storey on the south, is a deliberate gesture to assimilate in feng-shui practice, garnering the positive energies from the Bendigo Botanic Gardens.

Golden Dragon Museum, Bendigo (Images by Woods Bagot)

“Free in form and articulation, the skin of the new building references the patterning of the Chinese Wheel of Life, which dates back to 1834,” he said.

Harry Charalambous, principal, Woods Bagot, has been associated with the Museum for over 20 years, with leading the design of the museums masterplan — a new Chinese Precinct which included the Chinese gardens during the early nineties.”

“It’s wonderful to see the museum, and its design continuing to evolve. What’s remained current in the design philosophy over two decades is the Bendigo Chinese Association’s commitment to incorporate totally authenticity to enable a link to their ancestral cultural heritage with their local history of settlement in Bendigo,” said Charalambous.

The new concept design includes three levels of new space for the museum, touring exhibitions, a restaurant, gift shop, function space and internal courtyard gardens.

The new design reflects the continuation of the museum being a hub for Chinese cultural activity and will allow the museum to house further Chinese exhibits and enable the museum to be recognised and participate on an international scale.

“We hope to make partnerships with other museums throughout the world to ensure an active calendar of events once we build the extension,” said Anita Jack, general manager, Golden Dragon Museum

An historic settlement area for the Chinese, opened in 1991, the Museum was designed to house a vast collection of Chinese artefacts including the Sun Loong - the longest Imperial dragon in the world.

Known for its ‘gold boom’ architecture, Bendigo is a major regional city in Victoria, Australia.


 

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