A new museum has been built in Perth, designed by global architects Hassell and OMA. 

The New Museum for Western Australia sits in the heart of Perth’s cultural precinct, designed to evoke a ‘collection of stories’ and engage with Western Australia. It is described by the architects as a ‘holistic’ building, including refurbished heritage buildings and new structures. 

“We wanted it to be a civic place for everyone; an interesting mix of heritage and contemporary architecture, that contributes to the revitalisation of Perth’s cultural precinct whilst celebrating the culture of Western Australia on the world stage,” says Hassell Principal Mark Loughnan.

“We are pleased to have created a dynamic dialogue between the old and new fabric, which has set a new benchmark in heritage activation, one that reflects the rich Aboriginal heritage of our State in the new contemporary landscape,” adds Hassell design director and principal Peter Dean. 

The refurbished heritage buildings and new structures will house exhibitions, event spaces and public areas. 

One key feature is the museum’s two intersecting connection loops—one vertical and one horizontal—which connect and organise the museum’s content, including a world-renowned meteorite collection and iconic blue whale skeleton. 

“Western Australia’s natural resources, culture and history are diverse. Instead of prescribing a singular interpretation of Western Australia, the loops enable visitors to engage with the Museum’s collection in distinctive ways, and tell the manifold stories of the place,” says OMA managing partner David Gianotten. 

New Museum for Western Australia exterior

Another key feature of the museum’s design is the ‘City Room’. Sitting at the centre of the museum, this is a sheltered outdoor space framed by refurbished heritage buildings and a large cantilevered volume. The public space is intended to stimulate imagination and creativity and serve as a space to host activities ranging from large-scale community events to smaller gatherings. 

Encouraging people to visit throughout the year, the museum will include not only exhibitions and public event space, but also a range of cultural programs and new retail and dining offerings. 

Exhibitions are currently being installed in preparation for the museum’s official opening in November 2020.