About the project
The Rockhampton Museum of Art (RMoA) is a vibrant new cultural hub and active community space within the Rockhampton CBD.
Situated on Quay Street, RMoA seeks to enhance the setting of Rockhampton’s historic Customs House while providing a new contemporary tropical building that responds to the climate and riverfront setting. The final design has resulted from a strong collaboration between Conrad Gargett, Clare Design (Design Lead) and Brian Hooper Architect. RMoA was conceived as a serviceable, flexible frame for art, with the building being more about the life that it creates than the object itself. Grounded by a strong connection to Country, the building incorporates the use of local sandstone formed 180 million years ago, while also acknowledging the site’s colonial history and the craftsmanship of Customs House. The slender columned colonnade is a modern counterpart to the more symbolic and monumental veranda of the Customs House.
The arrangement of movement – for public, art, makers and attendants – has been fundamental to the design solution. This strategy supports “publicness”, activity and the seamless delivery and exhibition of art. The design addresses the importance of galleries providing a protective container for art while creating an inspiring place for people to gather, enjoy and connect to the art and its context.
RMoA’s open and transparent foyer invites people to enter and engage. Rather than a corridor, the circulation between galleries is in itself an exhibition space that extends from the entry foyer to Quay Lane. This tall circulation space opens up distant views, horizontally and vertically and provides clarity to the way the building may be navigated.
The Gallery has a role as an important contributor to its significant setting facing Tanuba and Nurim, and in recognising the living histories in this heritage place. The physical and visual connections between the river and landscape and the city are central to the siting and materiality of the Gallery. This outward looking approach inspired the use of glass and the horizontal flow through open spaces, bridges, balconies and the Level Two veranda.
Our strategic approach to sustainability is underpinned by careful consideration of adjacencies, so that critically controlled spaces are protected, and relief spaces are unhindered. This approach forms the foundation of our design hierarchy for energy efficiency. The addition of rooftop solar panels and introduction of balanced natural light to the more flexible spaces assists in reducing the Gallery’s environmental footprint.