Geology: An Urban Grain
- The geology of the region is stratified.
- The building is similarly organised in a series of stratums or bands that run east west.
- These new strata extend the urban grain of the Darby Street retail strip.
- It forms a richly variegated façade composed of various materials – coal, oyster shell, concrete, cedar, Gosford stone, steel and glass.
- These materials present a shift from a robust and solid back-of-house on Queen Street to a refined and transparent front-of-house program on Laman Street.
- The facade tells a story of Newcastle’s changing history from primary to fourth sector industry.
- The primary circulation spine within the gallery is a fissure in this stratum.
- The fissure also forms a second entry on Darby Street: a dramatic space of transition and crossings with filtered natural light from the pergola above.
New and old – We propose to retain the existing gallery and create an exciting synthesis of new and old. – The new works complement the existing structure of the gallery. – Our design include a series of new walls to form bands (strata) that run east west. – The placement and rhythm of these walls talk to the existing structure, particularly the columns and beams. – The glass facade on Laman street acts as a frame and filter of views to the existing gallery from the adjacent civic realm. – This proposal engages closely with the existing building. However our design strategy would still be valid should the feasibility of the project be increased with the demolition of the existing building.
The gallery – Our design strategy uses bands or stratums to form the walls that organise the interior space including the galleries. – This strategy applies layers and sequences, an enfilade tradition of gallery design, to create elegant and textured architectural spaces. – Openings in these walls provide glimpses of the external landscape, even from well within the galleries. – These new galleries are flexible, timeless and neutral spaces. – The galleries vary in width, proportion and quality of light (natural and artificial) to provide for a range of display opportunities. – The use of a secondary partition system can further divide the primary spaces to provide smaller and more intimate spaces or accommodate alternative configurations to meet curatorial requirements.