African Design Magazine May 2016 - Page 41

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE International project Westmoreland Museum frames the original brick building with a two-story colonnade of slender paired columns along its entire length. At the western end of the building, an angled pre-cast plane frames a commissioned sculpture by Tim Prentice, forming a focal point as one approaches the building from downtown along Main Street. A subtle, angled opening cut into the solid brick plane along the Main Street façade filters light into the building and suggests of the geometry of the cantilever and the new gallery sequence. The design reconfigures the interior spaces of the existing Museum to establish a new entry sequence that provides visual access through the building linking north and south entries. A monumental stair connects the renovated lobby to an enlarged group entry and a new vehicular drop-off. The lobby is framed by a new Museum shop and an introductory gallery. A glass stair set within a new double-height volume leads to the upper level and the cantilever gallery addition. An expanded sequence and range of galleries with views to the exterior unifies the interior spaces and connects the collection to its context. Additionally, a series of small-scale interventions within the existing building reinforces the underlying geometric language of the cantilever addition. Other spaces within the renewed Museum include a studio for children’s programs, a multi-purpose space for concerts, lectures, community gatherings and private events, as well as an informal café and consolidated administrative offices to foster interaction amongst the staff. Sustainability is integral to the project, with state-ofthe-art mechanical systems incorporated throughout, along with enhanced daylighting and views, locallysourced materials and a substantial reduction of exterior hardscape with the creation of the sculpture garden. Use of native and adaptive plantings eliminates the need for irrigation. The addition is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification. “It had always been our aim to create a building that enhances the Museum’s position as a 21st-century beacon for the arts — both in the local community and as a revived cultural icon for the region at large,” states Ennead partner Timothy Hartung. “Having grown up in the area,” he adds, “it is also a personal honour to return and to be part of The Westmoreland’s future.” afr X