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    Kerstin Thompson Architects to deliver Bundanon Trust Masterplan for Arthur Boyd property

    Nicholas Rider

    Kerstin Thompson Architects (KTA) has been announced as the winner of the Bundanon Trust Masterplan competition.

    The masterplan will enrich the 1,100 hectare property in regional New South Wales with a world-class creative learning centre, visitor hub, residential quarters and a new gallery to house the $37.5 million Arthur Boyd art collection.

    Central to the masterplan is the new Boyd Art Gallery designed to house approximately 3,800 items featuring more than 1,300 artworks by Arthur Boyd, plus works by Australian artists including Boyd’s peers Sidney Nolan, Charles Blackman, Brett Whiteley and John Perceval, as well as contemporary works drawn from participants in the Trust’s artist in residence program.

    The new facilities are expected to increase visitation by 100 per cent to the property, which currently sits at around 40,000 annually, some of which is owed to those visiting the award-winning Boyd Education Centre situated at the Riversdale section of the property, designed by acclaimed Australian architects Glenn Murcutt, Wendy Lewin and Reg Lark.

    John Denton, Director of Denton Corker Marshall and Jury Chair, said, “the jury’s unanimous support for the appointment of Kerstin Thompson Architects reflects the sympathetic and artistically aligned approach and philosophy of their proposal to the site’s landscape character and cultural significance.”

    For KTA, the masterplan development provided an opportunity to further the conversation between art and environment that permeated Arthur Boyd’s works.

    “Arthur Boyd’s vision indelibly changed the way we perceive the Australian landscape; through his work our senses are sharpened to the intensity of its colours, textures and moods,” said Kerstin Thompson. “The masterplan offers the chance to conjure a design in keeping with Boyd’s distillations of the Australian landscape; its beauty and harshness, contours, light, colours and tones.”

    Unlike other architectural competitions, there was no final design submitted – instead, a philosophy, process and vision. 

    KTA beat a shortlist of six Australian architecture firms, comprising of Virginia Kerridge Architect, Room 11, Peter Elliot Architecture + Urban Design, Jackson Clements Burrows Architects and Chenchow Little Architects.

    CONTROVERSY AND THE COMPETITION

    There were concerns and questions raised by some in the design community as to why Murcutt, Lewin and Lark were not referenced or consulted on for the new project considering their history and understanding of the site and its former owners.

    In an open letter, back in June 2016, Australian architects Brit Anderson, Richard Leplastrier, Peter Stutchbury and Lindsay Johnston expressed their aversion to the Riversdale expansion plans, questioning their respect for the spirit of Arthur and Yvonne Boyd and their credibility considering they don't recognise the work of Murcutt, Lewin and Lark.

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