The public museum aims to celebrate Western Australia’s diversity and culture
Part of the Western Australian Museum, which has six sites across the city, Boola Bardip includes the renovation and expansion of the state museum that was originally established in 1891 in the Old Perth Gaol.
Comprising renovated heritage-listed brick buildings and new rectangular volumes clad with perforated metal facades, the museum has been conceived as a framework to share the diverse stories of Western Australia’s history and culture.
Preserved and revitalised buildings on site include the nineteenth-century Old Gaol and Jubilee Building, the original Art Gallery built in 1908 and Hackett Hall, the State Library’s reading room built in 1913. New volumes wrap around these historic buildings to create two intersecting circulation loops – one vertical and one horizontal – of exhibition, event and leisure spaces that allow visitors to choose a variety of routes.
A sheltered, outdoor public space at the centre of the complex has been created, known as the ‘City Room’ – intended as an inclusive civic space for public cultural programmes and daily activities.
The project also involved community collaboration to shape the museum’s vision. ‘We’re proud to have successfully designed and delivered an international civic project that involved extensive collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders, in particular the Whadjuk elders,’ says Hassell design director and principal Peter Dean.
‘This collaboration and local community consultation helped evolve the WA Museum Boola Bardip to become another legacy project for Perth’s future as an international cultural destination.’
Photography by Peter Bennetts, courtesy of Hassell and OMA