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Melbourne Museum
by Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd



The site for the new Melbourne Museum is in a public park, directly beside the neoclassical Royal Exhibition Building, a local landmark. The programme is complex. The Museum is not a monolithic institution but rather a series of discrete collections, with significant exhibition spaces devoted to Aboriginal culture and to natural history collections. The various exhibition spaces and museum facilites each have a specific identity within the complex. This enables visitors to choose which exhibitions to visit, rather that attempt to take in all the attractions on a single occasion. The planning recalls the experience of Frankfurt, where different small museums are located together in a precinct along the river. The Museum complex is planned like a small town, with two parallel 'boulevards' running east-west structuring planning concern, and the public circulation and ensuring clarity and legibility. Museum fatigue is a principal

planning concern, and the public spaces are made simple and orthagonal: visitors can easily chart their own routes through the complex and always return to the boulevard and understand where they are. Eternally, the complex is formally held together by a structuring grid. Within the grid, the IMAX cinema and Touring Exhibition Hall are expressed as dynamic, tumbling, metal-clad boxes breaking out of the framework. The Children's Museum and Aboriginal Cultural Centre, smaller in scale, are also expressed as eccentric forms lodged within the grid. The structural grid and the symmetrical order of the front elevation give way at the back, facing Carlton Gardens, to an irregular sculptural composition of forms that is held in by tension by the dramatic cantilevered blade. It is on central axis with the Royal Exhibtion Building, recalling the generative order of the complex at the point of maximum formal fragmentation.

Melbourne, VIC
Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd
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Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd
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.Project Team
Project architect: John Denton, Denton Corker Marshall
Design architect: John Denton, Denton Corker Marshall
Project manager: John Weston, Office of Major Projects
Developer: Victorian Government
Structural consultant: Ove Arup & Partners
Civil consultant: Ove Arup & Partners
Electrical consultant: Lincolne Scott Australia
Mechanical consultant: Lincolne Scott Australia
Hydraulic consultant: Lincolne Scott Australia
Landscape consultant: Denton Corker Marshall
Interior designer: Denton Corker Marshall
Lighting consultant: Vision Lighting
Acoustic consultant: Watson Moss Growcott
Quantity consultant: Rider Hunt
Communications consultant: Lincolne Scott Australia
Programming consultant: Flagstaff Consulting Group
Builder: Baulderstone Hornibrook

Photographs by Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd, text by Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects