Melbourne Museum Building, State of Design Festival Victoria, Denton Corker Marshall Project

Melbourne Museum Building

Melbourne State of Design Festival, Australia Multimedia Walking Tour design by DCM

12 Jul 2011

Melbourne Museum Building Design Festival

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Design: Denton Corker Marshall

Melbourne Museum Building
photo : John Gollings

Melbourne Museumhonours historic neighbour, avoids ‘museum fatigue’

The Sound of Buildings

A multimedia walking tour spanning 10 of Melbourne’s most architecturally significant buildings will launch on 19 Jul, to coincide with this year’s State of Design festival.

Told through the voices of engineers, architects, project managers, building users and children, the tour includes Denton Corker Marshall’s Melbourne Museum and its world-heritage listed neighbour, the Royal Exhibition Building.

More than a decade after its completion, architect John Denton recalls that the new museum had to complement its historic counterpart and not overwhelm it. Separated by a century, he is confident each provides a contrasting foil that enhances the identity of the other.

Denton is heard describing the idea to create a fine grid to replicate the Hoddle grid of the CBD, and producing a building that references Melbourne’s own growth.

“The museum starts out quite formally on the Exhibition Building side, and breaks down into a series of smaller buildings towards the gardens, all held by the grid,” says Denton.

The grid also solved the problem of where to put the front door to a building sited between two main streets ¬– on axis with the Royal Exhibition Building. But then how to draw people in and down to the front of the building?

“We had the idea of the large covered ways that expand out to the streets on either side. They also sit within the grid, and are the signals, the arm waving that says to the streets on each side, ‘this is where the entrance to the museum is, come this way’,” says Denton.

Internally, its design combats ‘museum fatigue’. Boutique museums lead off a central gallery space. Visitors go through and sample sections of the museum, always returning to the gallery which has seating areas, toilets, the museum shop and a café. Other eateries are scattered throughout the exhibition areas.

Using audio, imagery and a GPS mapping function to navigate the listeners, the Sound of Buildings tour offers listeners a deeper understanding and context of the selected buildings. The tour will be available as a free App from the Apple store and State of Design website.

Melbourne State of Design Festival – The 10 Buildings

AAMI Park Rectangular Stadium, Monaco House, the Melbourne Theatre Company and Melbourne Recital Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Museum, Royal Exhibition Building, Federation Square, St Paul’s Cathedral and Council House 2.

Melbourne Museum Building images / information from Denton Corker Marshall

Melbourne Museum Building Architects : Denton Corker Marshall


Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Comments / photos for the Melbourne Museum Building – State of Design Festival page welcome