Stunning concept designs of the new Heysen Art Gallery in the Adelaide Hills were unveiled recently by the Hans Heysen Foundation. Located in Hahndorf, the gallery will be an inspiring tribute to one of Australia’s most revered and loved artists, according to the chair of the Heysen Foundation, James Sexton.

Designed by the Adelaide-based studio of international architecture and design firm, Snøhetta, Heysen Art Gallery is expected to become a world-class destination recognising Heysen’s incredible contribution to Australia’s arts and cultural heritage. Snøhetta’s design has a strong focus on sustainability and an acute awareness of its location. The Australian Government is providing $9 million for the gallery’s construction under the Adelaide City Deal.

Located at The Cedars, the Hahndorf home of Hans Heysen and his daughter Nora Heysen, the project comprises a purpose-built gallery, restaurant and gift shop, as well as bushfire-safe storage for artworks.

“This will become a must-visit destination for art lovers right across the globe,” Sexton said. “To house Heysen’s works in a stunning earthy structure nestled amongst the beautiful rolling Adelaide Hills is such a fitting tribute to this incredible South Australian. I have no doubt this will become Australia’s equivalent of Monet’s garden right here in Hahndorf.”

Chief executive officer at The Cedars, Tori Dixon-Whittle said, “The new gallery will create an immersive experience of Heysen’s internationally-renowned artworks amongst the very environment that inspired him.”

The Snøhetta design team, led by Adelaide architect Heather Griffin, sought to create a design that was both protective of the landscape and protected by the landscape in revealing the unique qualities and evocative experiences of Heysen’s works.

Key elements of the design include rammed earth concrete materials, expansive glazing to open up the beautiful views, timber-themed interior furnishings as well as energy saving features. Work on the project is expected to commence later this year.

Snøhetta has designed several extraordinary buildings, including the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet building, Europe’s first underwater restaurant Under, the National September 11 Memorial Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Expansion, and the Pridham Hall for the University of South Australia.

Image: Artist’s impression of Heysen Art Gallery (Image credit: Secchi Smith)