Inspired by the potential of the site, HASSELL has developed a concept for a disused power station in the Australian city of Perth – an art gallery on the banks of the Swan River. A city of over 2 million people, Perth is the only major population centre in the vastness of Western Australia, which covers over 2.5 million square kilometres.
The concept for the building draws from this vast landscape and is conceived as a series of rotating and shifting “planks”, creating a horizontal and terraced urban plateau. Overhangs and cantilevers provide both drama and shade towards the river and public realm. People would be able to climb on and walk under the terraced structure adjoining the old power station.
“The horizontal form and layered facade is representative of the power of the Western Australian landscape and also symbolises the drama of land meeting water,” says Mark Loughnan, HASSELL Head of Architecture. “The planks are also inspired by the detail and drama of cliffs along the Western Australian coastline.”
The building would be a terraced pedestrian bookend to the city’s central business district and would be an extension of the cultural and sporting precinct across the river from the new Perth stadium. It would have strong transport connections by road, rail and, potentially, ferry services.
The concept connects with the old power station at its northern end, ensuring it maintains its historic presence to the river front. Inside the building, a large rotating atrium connects the old power station and the new building, providing public access to large and diverse gallery and lobby spaces.
A huge variety of exhibition and performance spaces and a river edge cafe and theatre would create an engaging river frontage for the people of Perth. The proposed surrounding landscape is terraced down to the river edge and features a series of reflecting pools or surfaces. Elements of the historic power station site are preserved, providing a rich tapestry of heritage and scale. Source by HASSELL.