Building on its popular and critical success, a major extension to the Housemuseum is currently underway. The new Housemuseum galleries are being constructed as a stand alone building adjacent to the original Housemuseum. The new galleries are being designed by architect and collector Corbett Lyon.
Opening in mid 2018, the Housemuseum galleries will operate as a public museum, open to the public six days each week throughout the year.
The new museum's form echoes the angular and extruded form of the original Housemuseum. Its street elevation repeats the Housemuseum's distinctive roof profile and distorts and inflects it to create a public arrival space at the front of the building. At the rear, the form of the building is cut away to create an enclosed, open air courtyard for the display of artworks and installations.
The building's materials and finishes reflect its role as a public museum. Its facades are clad entirely in large, bluestone slabs sourced and cut from an ancient quarry located in Port Fairy, western Victoria.
Twelve thousand projecting elements, cut from the same bluestone material form an integral part of the design and give the facades a strong three dimensional effect. These are animated by light playing over their textured surfaces.
The patterned facades refer to the decorative corbelled brickwork on the adjacent Housemuseum fence, and like the Housemuseum, are used to spell out the name of the new museum.
The new building's internal spatial arrangement echoes the spatial structure of the original Housemuseum - a series of enclosed, box-like exhibition spaces surrounded with free flowing spaces.
The gallery spaces are large with 5.5m ceiling heights and offer maximum flexibility for the presentation of large scale contemporary artworks and installations.
The central gallery, measuring 13m x 26m is surrounded by four peripheral galleries, each offering a different orientation and aspect.
The front forecourt and rear courtyard provide additional sites for the display of art and artefacts and extend the museum's exhibition spaces beyond its walls.
The new museum includes a reception/ticketing area and a cafe and retail shop overlooking the northern sculpture courtyard.
Offices for museum staff are located on the first floor of the building and a dedicated basement level provides secure storage for the museum's permanent collection.