The Queensland Museum Refurbishment project encompasses a dramatic transformation of the spatial, functional and wayfinding experience of the museum and its precinct. This is achieved with a series of modest, flexible architectural and design interventions informed by a previous masterplan by the same design team and unified by the crafting of a singular material, blackbutt. The well-documented impact of this project is impressive and includes increased visitor numbers, increased functions and retail revenue, an ability to host major international exhibitions, a greater connectivity and activation of the broader cultural precinct, and an equality of access that goes beyond the mere physical and embodies social and cultural circumstances. As a consequence, the museum has a greater national and international profile, enabling it to retain and attract bright staff and improve levels of benefaction. This project makes a compelling case for continuity of the design team from masterplan to completion, for critical research-based design decisions, for close collaboration with a visionary client, and for the significant benefits and value for money that can be derived from informed investment in cultural institutions.
This refurbishment encompassed a dramatic transformation of the spatial, functional and wayfinding experience of the Queensland Museum while simultaneously respecting the integrity of the original brutalist architecture. We achieved all objectives utilising one material – blackbutt – crafted into a contiguous installation of multiple elements, wended from one end to the other.