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February 7, 2021

The WA Museum Boola Bardip, Perth
The WA Museum Boola Bardip in Perth, Australia, designed by Hassell Studio and OMA, recently opened to the public, was conceived as a collection of stories about the diversity, that recall the rich history of contemporary culture of western Australia.
    Historic buildings and new volumes have been linked to offer a variety of possibilities for art installations, to create the ‘city room’ and to host public cultural programmes, including a nine-day cultural festival celebrating the opening. The structure is three times the size of the old building, with eight permanent galleries and a temporary gallery for traveling exhibitions, next to training spaces, shopping areas and a cafe.
    The historic buildings that are part of the museum include two mid-19th century structures called The Old Gaol and Jubilee Building, and the early 20th Century Art Gallery, Hackett Hall, and the Reading Room of the State Library. Their decorated facades, which have all been preserved, are in contrast to the new exhibition spaces that are enveloped by very modern openwork metal cladding and vast areas of stained glass. The perforated metal filters the light and makes the museum shine outward at night. Inside, the existing plant and new structures are connected through two intersecting circular structures. One that extends vertically and the other that wraps the buildings horizontally. These “rings” offer multiple routes around the museum and encourage visitors to explore and move freely within it. The name of the museum is characterized by the words Boola Bardip, which means “many stories” in Noongar – an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the indigenous community in Western Australia.


Courtesy of AREA editorial office




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