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   -   National RAIA Award for Public Architecture
   -   The RAIA Award for Public Architecture (QLD)

Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland
by Architectus



Gallery of Modern Art – Queensland Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) embodies the ideals of enhanced public connection and accessibility to art and its architecture. The new building emphasises these links both functionally and symbolically — its design essence is an open, generous and democratic ‘urban pavilion', which encourages people to approach and engage with it in various ways. Connectivity and access are also realised in the manner the Gallery occupies and interprets the site — informing the way it is positioned in relation to the natural and urban setting. The placement of this pavilion is both a logical and intuitive response to the curve of the river and the grid of the city. GoMA is impressive and monumental without losing its directness, openness and freshness. International in its modernist language of architecture, yet familiar and responsive to local culture and its south-east Queensland context. As an extension of site considerations, the gallery's main circulation is a legible cross-street pattern. Visitors easily move to the ‘centre-of-plan'— to a place of orientation and information. — at this point they may then decide to pass through or ascend. The junction of the ‘white box' gallery is expressed with lightness and openness — which contrasts with the darkness and intimacy of the ‘black box' cinémathèque. A restrained palette of concrete, zinc, glass, plasterboard and tallowwood provides a subtle setting for both art and people. Fifteen gallery spaces have their own particular character and function. Each differs in

scale, material and use of light. Modern art by its very nature is unpredictable. Consequently successful galleries anticipate events and installations, as well as exhibitions of various media, art forms and practices. Our approach is to provide a serviceable and flexible venue for the art, catering both for the artefact and the life that the art creates. The environmental conditions for a contemporary art gallery have been rigorously researched and implemented. Issues include: the control of temperature and humidity, electric and natural light, air pollutants, energy use, building services, waste management, building materials, shading, embodied energy, insulation and air distribution. Our design process carefully considered the artists' and curators' needs. The flexibility of the overall structure accommodates contemporary art's variable nature. GoMA has: generous openings for big works, the potential to move walls, and ready access to the technological capacity for optional lighting systems and interactive multimedia exhibits. The ground breaking Asia Pacific Triennale series demonstrates the Queensland Art Gallery's philosophy and commitment to cultural relationships. The new Gallery consciously cites and incorporates this outward looking approach through the use of glass and the horizontal flow of the building. A series of ‘living rooms' and ‘verandahs' connect surrounding public spaces, gardens, landscape and the city beyond. GoMA's architecture responds to both the spirit of the region and the vigour and variety of contemporary art.

South Brisbane, QLD
Contact address:
Project Team
Project architect: John Norman
Design architect: Lindsay Clare
Design architect: Kerry Clare
Design architect: James Jones
Project manager: Project Services - Queensland Government
Project manager: Bovis Lend Lease
Structural consultant: Bornhorst TTW
Landscape consultant: Stutchbury Pape/EDAW Gillespies
Acoustic consultant: Bassett Consulting Engineers
Services consultant: Lincolne Scott
Environmental consultant: Advanced Environmental Concepts
Quantity consultant: Rider Hunt
: John Grealy
: John Jeffrey
: Mark Curzon
: Felix Winter
-: Blair Johnson

Photographs by Architectus, text by Architectus

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