New Museum for WA

Case Study



What did we do?

In 2014 we were appointed to the role of State Adviser: Architecture for Western Australia’s New Museum. This $395.9 million project is one of the most significant museum redevelopments in the world and will display the State collection in new and innovative ways. The project includes:

  • the design and construction of a new building that integrates with the existing heritage buildings

  • heritage restoration works to Old Gaol, Jubilee, Beaufort and Hackett buildings

  • $1.6 million public art project at the New Museum Perth site

  • the design, production and installation of Museum content including collections, exhibitions, multimedia and artworks for gallery and activated circulation spaces

  • $17.1 million Harry Butler Research Centre at the Museum’s Collections and Research Centre, Welshpool

  • a Central Energy Plant servicing the Perth Cultural Centre.  This will reduce energy use and CO2 emissions in the Perth Cultural Centre by 30-40% by 2020.

As State Adviser our first job was to develop a project and design brief based on the latest advancements in museum design and visitor engagement. We conducted research into best practice museum design, consulted with museum staff from across collections and administration, and engaged with a cross-section of the West Australian community.

For the duration of the project, we have maintained up to three staff in the Department of Strategic Project’s site office whose job is to act as a conduit between the State Government (on behalf of WAM) and Design Architects, Hassell and OMA.

Why do these roles exist?

Our role as State Advisor: Architecture is to balance the long-term strategic, economic and social aspirations of the State, with the ambitions of the relevant occupier and stakeholders of the museum – in this case WAM.

We were also there to ensure compliance with the agreed briefing documents, provide ongoing and updated advice to the State on any matters relating to the architectural design as it developed from Multiplex’s design team, and provide feedback to any queries from stakeholders around the design process and fulfilment of the brief.



These roles exist to ensure quality and design intent as complex projects unfold over many years.