First concept design revealed

Council has unveiled the first glimpse of concept designs for a regional gallery.

Working with BKA Architecture and key stakeholders, a concept design was settled on that includes a one storey building sitting within the context of the existing heritage building at an approximate 45 degree angle.

The new building sits back from the face of Market Street in order to be more sympathetic to the streetscape and the numerous heritage building facades along that thoroughfare. The design allows the existing building to be utilised for office and storage space on the lower ground, with the upper floor to accommodate seminar and workshop space (including a break-out room).

The public areas throughout the existing building (including the lower level central corridor) will be available for less formal displays of art. The upper floor of the building will be accessible via the existing staircase or by a lift to be installed within one of the existing office spaces so as not to intrude on the external aesthetics of the heritage building.

The new building will be climate controlled and have appropriate security in order to meet stringent conditions of major art lending institutions, making the hosting of touring exhibitions, such as the Archibalds, a realistic possibility.

As well as an adjustable gallery space, the building will include spaces for a tourism hub (including region-specific and gallery-related retail space), a café, staff and public amenities, art storage areas and loading dock, a black box theatre/smaller gallery space and a general reception area, accessible via entrances on Market and Douro Streets.

A deck or terrace will lead out of the south western end of the gallery to an outdoor sculpture area.

A Development Application for the new gallery will be on public exhibition shortly when residents will have the opportunity to provide feedback.

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