DKJ partners with Fender Katsalidis Mirams Architects to create new arts hub for Darwin
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DKJ partners with Fender Katsalidis Mirams Architects to create new arts hub for Darwin

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Australia’s Northern Territory Government has unveiled plans by Darwin-based DKJ projects.architecture to create a new visual art gallery in the centre of Darwin.

Led by DKJ in partnership with Fender Katsalidis Mirams, the A$18.5m (US$13.5m, €12.3m, £8.9m) plans feature the redevelopment of the existing Harry Chan building, which will become a gallery for the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT).

“Our view about museums and galleries is they’ve become the new cathedrals of modern society,” said Rob Mirams, founding director of Fender Katsalidis Mirams. “The new addition to the building is somewhat cathedral-like in its vertical proportions and will be designed to inspire people to interact with the gallery.”

DKG’s design for the existing structure, which operated as a contemporary art space between 2010 to 2014, will include two new additions, creating 3,500sq m (37,600sq ft) of exhibition space, in addition to a café and a bookshop. Above the existing space, new cantilevered high ceilings will be added, lifting visitors up above the treetops to offer views looking out over Darwin towards the ruins of the Palmerston Town Hall, which was destroyed in World War II.

In addition to redevelopment of the existing space, a proposed glazed atrium, clad with a metal screen, will serve as both temporary exhibition space and as a way to bring visual connectivity to the new exhibition spaces.

The building itself sits in a prime location within Darwin, neighbouring the NT Parliament House, Darwin Supreme Court and the ruins of the town hall.

“Darwin currently has no cultural centre in its CBD,” said Mirams. “This presented a perfect opportunity for an iconic, cultural building for the city.”

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Australia’s Northern Territory Government has unveiled plans by Darwin-based DKJ projects.architecture to create a new visual art gallery in the centre of Darwin.
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