Gold Coast Art Gallery + ACMI

Project Description:

What do you do at the beach when it rains?

Midway between the Nerang River and Pacific Ocean, serviced by light rail, underutilised by extant planning regulations, the site offers an opportunity to revitalise an increasingly dense and populous city. The beaches (river and ocean) provide excellent, open, natural amenity however, public gathering and green space between them is poorly located and proportioned for the scale of surrounding urban development. The precinct feels tired and in need of invigoration. This informed the design of a master plan combining a large square and garden on a linking pedestrianised spine between the ocean and river. Making a place for an “other” experience of the Gold Coast, not directly related to the beach but one of contrasts. Cool, dark relief, dense vegetation and filtered sunlight. A cave and a garden creating a public “back yard” for play, exploration and entertainment.

The Gold Coast Council Gallery has outgrown its home and this proposal offers space for new exhibitions and storage pairing the gallery with a new campus for the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) cinematheque, interactive installation and archive. The gallery forms a southern edge to the urban room directing pedestrians along the east-west axis physically and visually linking the beaches. Relationships to local, historical and broader contexts are captured in materiality and isolated moments of the users journey.

The project sits as a pure crystalline box with the contrasting element of the shingled cave skin carving out the interior volume of the semi-public great hall. The large undulating awning, an extension of the cave lining mediates between the gallery (cave) and the square (garden) creating a human scale experience within the realm of the larger urban room.