While announcement of the winning design for the Outback Museum of Australia has been delayed, one of the three shortlisted features concrete and remains in the running.
The criteria for the competition launched by Griffith University and Murweh Shire in August specified a sustainable and resilient building with a contemporary spirit that will demonstrate an understanding of the Outback in the land of the Bidjara First Nations people. It will be set in a landscape characterised by expansive flat plains, red soil and desert vegetation and located near Charleville.
Hassell Architects’ shortlisted entry, The Mulga Ring, is an open, passive structure featuring a circular geometry which builds on an existing clearing. The design features concrete floors and skirting which establish “a series of thresholds, edges, enclosures and apertures that define territory and frame views and vistas to the landscape and sky” reported Architecture.com.
The building itself will have a timber frame with glazed low iron glass that will incorporate natural ventilation and cooling. Two other design entries, by March’s Studio and Adhaeream, feature a fanned roof over rammed earth pavilions, and a central museum area shaped like a seed pod, respectively.
The shortlisted designs target is a 5-Star NABERS rating and must include an entrance hall, reception and cloakroom, commercial space, flexible exhibition space, research area, external pathways and landscaping connected to parking and outdoor areas.
The construction budget for OMOA is around $6.5 million for a building footprint of 700 square metres. Announcement of the design winner was delayed from September and will be revealed on 6 November 2022.