construction of the ‘new museum for western australia’, designed in joint venture by international design practices HASSELL and OMA, is complete. exhibitions are now being installed to ensure that the museum is ready for its opening in november 2020. located in the heart of perth’s cultural precinct, the design was conceived as a ‘collection of stories’ that offer a multidimensional framework. comprised of heritage and new structures, the institution intends to be a place where the local community and global visitors can gather to share their understanding of the past, thoughts of the moment, and ambitions for the future.

hassell oma new museum
all images © peter bennetts, courtesy of HASSELL + OMA



‘our vision for the design was to create a space that promotes engagement and collaboration, responding to the needs of the museum and the community,’ says HASSELL principal mark loughnan. ‘we wanted it to be a civic place for everyone; an interesting mix of heritage and contemporary architecture, that contributes to the revitalization of perth’s cultural precinct whilst celebrating the culture of western australia on the world stage.’

hassell oma new museum



refurbished heritage buildings and newly built volumes house the museum exhibitions, event spaces, and public areas. two intersecting circulation loops — one vertical and one horizontal — connect and organize the museum’s content, which includes a world-renowned meteorite collection and a blue whale skeleton. ‘western australia’s natural resources, culture and history are diverse. instead of prescribing a singular interpretation of western australia, the loops enable visitors to engage with the museum’s collection in distinctive ways, and tell the manifold stories of the place,’ explains OMA managing partner, david gianotten.

HASSELL + OMA complete new museum for western australia ahead of 2020 opening



a core element of the design is the ‘city room’ — a sheltered outdoor public space at the center of the museum. the city room is an open space for everyone to stimulate their imagination and creativity and participate in a variety of activities, from large scale community events to smaller gatherings. elsewhere, a large new temporary gallery space complements the museum’s permanent collection. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

HASSELL + OMA complete new museum for western australia ahead of 2020 opening



project info:


name: new museum for western australia
location: perth, australia
design: HASSELL + OMA
status: complete, opening scheduled for november 2020
previous coverage: august 2016