19/12/2019 - 13:30

New museum to open free of charge in November

19/12/2019 - 13:30

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Western Australia’s new museum will be free of charge for 18 months after its November 2020 opening, with the state government expecting up to 800,000 people to experience the $430 million facility over that time.

New museum to open free of charge in November
WA's new museum will be a key attractor to the Perth Cultural Centre for tourists and WA residents alike. Photo: WA Museum

Western Australia’s new museum will be free of charge for 18 months after its November 2020 opening, with the state government expecting up to 800,000 people to experience the $430 million facility over that time. 

Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman today announced the museum had hit a major milestone of practical completion, with the building’s structure finished and the next 10 months to focus on installing exhibitions and other fitout works.

Mr Templeman said the state government had made the decision to launch a free entry period to the museum to ensure as many WA residents as possible could experience it.

“When people realise and start hearing about what this building is, what it celebrates and what it offers to people, I think you’re going to see lots and lots of people coming in,” Mr Templeman told reporters at a tour of the museum this morning.

Mr Templeman described the museum as “the best new museum in the world”, with its focus on Western Australia’s indigenous history its defining aspect.

“Through all of the galleries, and there are eight galleries including of course the temporary gallery, will be the very special and important acknowledgement of our indigenous history and our indigenous people,” Mr Templeman said.

“That is a very special and important feature of all of the galleries and the museum itself. 

“Because this is a very special place not only for all Western Australians but particularly of course for our first nations people, the Whadjuk people.”

WA Museum chief executive Alec Coles said the practical completion was an important milestone on what had been an incredible journey for the project team, which comprised museum staff, construction contractor Multiplex and architecture groups HASSELL and OMA.

“The architectural team have created something that’s absolutely spectacular here,” Mr Coles said.

“When you think about this site, it’s nearly 130 years since the museum first existed on this site in the old jail building, and all of the elements you see around you, the heritage buildings, we all added piecemeal along the way. 

“So there is no question that this is the most significant moment in the history of the museum, to be able to knit all of those buildings together so perfectly. 

“It is the first time they have been unified and it’s a real credit to the architects to actually be able to do that. 

“The contrast between the old and the new and particularly the way that they integrate and the way that the heritage buildings are respected is really beautiful, so we are really proud about that.”

Mr Coles said the museum was not only focused on fitout works, but also securing an exciting program of travelling exhibitions to start at its November opening.

“We have a fantastic program coming together, we have got a few contracts to sign and we will have some big announcements to make in the new year.”

Multiplex regional managing director Chris Palandri paid tribute to the construction teams who have worked on the project, with more than 3,200 workers directly employed and thousands more jobs created through building materials manufacturing.

Mr Palandri said the project had been selected as a finalist for the Australian Construction Achievement Award, the highest accolade in Australian infrastructure and commercial building.

"This is a really complicated project, it’s a really difficult project," Mr Palandri said.

"We’ve hoisted the roof structure over 38 metres in the air, we’ve used over 1,000 facade panels, 1,600 tonnes of steel and 12,000 cubic metres of concrete.

"There are really some spectacular features of this project. We’ve wrapped this brand new state of the art building around four heritage buildings that have been underpinned, re-roofed, restored and upgraded back to their former glory."

 

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