National Museum of Australia Forecourt Upgrade and Gallery of Australian Dreams

Acton, ACT

One of the most inventive, daring and controversial buildings.

The upgrade of the Welcome Sequence, the Forecourt, and the front public entry defines a clear journey and arrival experience to the museum. This creation of a clear sense of Welcome forms an integral aspect of the museum experience and visit to the Acton Peninsula, allowing the visitors to engage with the site. The new works provide a diversity of experience, while increasing public realm amenity, accessibility, security, and an improved micro-climate in the Forecourt.

The development showcases many unique features such as the Welcome Wall which is a large, multi planer structure, designed to appear as a continuous curve. The front face of the wall is clad with mirrored panels, imported from Italy, which are a prominent and striking feature to visitors, while gro-wall panels are mounted on the rear face to soften the wall into the landscape.

A key aspect of the design was keeping the Welcome Wall slender in appearance. TTW worked closely with the architect to ensure the most efficient arrangement of structural layering was used. This was challenging as the wind loads adjacent to the lake are quite large and the structure is shaped like a sail!

Similarly, the GFA canopy roof was to appear ‘lightly’ touching the columns and slender. TTW developed a structurally efficient and subtle detail to achieve this intent.

Client: National Museum of Australia

Architect: ARM Architecture

Builder: Regal Innovations

Value: $6M

Completion: 2019

Images: George Serras, National Museum of Australia

Sector: Government & Public, Art & Culture

Services: Structural, Civil