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Mecanoo detail Perth City Hall museum transformation

November 27 2018

 Mecanoo detail Perth City Hall museum transformation

A long-awaited planning application has been filed by Mecanoo outlining their proposed transformation of Perth City Hall after the Dutch practice was selected by Perth & Kinross Council to bring forward ideas for the buildings reuse.

This will see the B-listed hall adapted to form a flexible museum, exhibition space and café to help meet the city’s cultural aspirations

Internally this will see a three-storey pavilion form the primary focus for the revamped hall formed from ‘tall panels finished with a woven bronze colour material contained within a glass panel.’ This materiality extends to new interventions to the exterior with bronze coloured panels accentuating entrances and windows.

North and south entrances will be connected via a ‘vennel’ lined by perforated steel panelled walls.  Extending directly to the main hall it is intended to act as an extension of surrounding public realm.

In a statement Mecanoo wrote: “The entrances will require the existing doorways in the stone external wall to be expanded and a new structure introduced. A metal clad surround will shelter
and announce the entrances.

“The vennel leads to the centre of the hall where visitors will enter in the centre of the space under the vaulted ceiling and in front of the new pavilion. The first-floor gallery sweeps round the space encouraging people to explore the upper levels.”

A three-storey pavilion will take pride of place in the main hall
A three-storey pavilion will take pride of place in the main hall
Bronze scalloped entrances will be embedded in the sandstone facade
Bronze scalloped entrances will be embedded in the sandstone facade


#1 Posted by Dave on 27 Nov 2018 at 10:17 AM
Looks nice, fingers crossed it goes ahead.

But why is the hall suddenly made out of granite...?
Robin Bs Discount Store
#2 Posted by Robin Bs Discount Store on 27 Nov 2018 at 11:23 AM
I like how the front door is no longer a door. Really makes a lot of sense.

Austin Smith Lord's proposals were the best of the bunch anyway from memory.
#3 Posted by rhodgers on 27 Nov 2018 at 16:58 PM
@ #2. I suspect this will be to provide level access from the third image, instead of butchering the front facade with a ramp or cutting into its steps, which seems fair enough to me.
#4 Posted by Cadmonkey on 28 Nov 2018 at 12:42 PM
#3. DDA legislation involves degrees of "reasonableness". It does not seem reasonable to me, or architecturally correct, to block up the front door of the listed building and form a new main entrance in a flanking gable.
If you take a look at St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile you will see how DDA access through the raised front door can be achieved in a sensitive an considered manner.
On this occasion it just looks to me as though a side entrance worked better with the architects concept for the interior, so the concept has driven the solution at the expense of the integrity of the original architecture. This is a serious failing.
I would send it back to the drawing board, or rerun the competition.
#5 Posted by Designer on 28 Nov 2018 at 20:53 PM
It’s probably just the image, but the interior looks a bit like a church or a school assembly hall. It doesn’t cry out cutting edge museum.
Robin Bs Discount Store
#6 Posted by Robin Bs Discount Store on 29 Nov 2018 at 10:28 AM
@#4 - did they not rerun the competition a couple of times to get to this outcome? Like I said, as a Perth native, Austin Smith Lord's solution looked the best to me. It also actually looked like it had a plan for the internal use of the building. As things stand, it's fairly evident that no-one really knows how to get the best use of the facility. I mean, what is it, a museum, an exhibition, a bird, a plane..... if its the former, why are we chucking so much money at the existing museum?
Robin Bs Discount Store
#7 Posted by Robin Bs Discount Store on 29 Nov 2018 at 10:54 AM
While I'm on my pedestal - where did the glass balustrades disappear to in the main hall? And what is that nonsense that's replaced them?
#8 Posted by TJ on 30 Nov 2018 at 23:01 PM
I don’t get it. It’s a building within a building? As per previous comments why cut a bloomin big hole in the side of a listed building when you already have several entrances? There is already a ramp on left hand side is there not? Awful.....
#9 Posted by Susan on 1 Dec 2018 at 07:44 AM
One thing Perth lacks is a large internal space. This building provided that but instead of using that to advantage, it’s going to have a massive box smack bang in the centre (that looks incongruous) resulting in the loss of this space.

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