Somerset Regional Art Gallery - ‘The Condensery’

Paine, Ashley and Harris, Brant (2015) Somerset Regional Art Gallery - ‘The Condensery’. Toogoolawah, QLD, Australia, PHAB Architects.

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Author Paine, Ashley
Harris, Brant
Title Somerset Regional Art Gallery - ‘The Condensery’
Place of publication Toogoolawah, QLD, Australia
Publisher PHAB Architects
Publication date 2015-09-01
Language eng
Subject Original Creative Work - Design/Architectural work
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Research Background
For reasons of sustainability, but also built and cultural heritage, cities and towns are increasingly turning to the adaptive re-use of existing buildings, instead of the construction of new ones. The creative strategies and acceptable practical techniques for such conversions, however, remain a contested field of conventional conservation practices and design experimentation.

Research Contribution
The conversion of a former condensed milk factory packing shed in Toogoolawah into the new Somerset Regional Art Gallery (‘The Condensery’) makes an important contribution to the discourse and practice of adaptive re-use. In particular, it eschews conventional practices in which old structures are restored or reconstructed, while new materials are contrasted to create a hybrid architectural expression. Instead, the design creates a unity between new and old using a careful deployment of colour and material. More precisely, it retains as much existing building fabric as possible in its found condition, while introducing subtle contemporary additions that complement and enhance the legibility of its history.

Research Significance
The research significance of the project is that it offers an alternative model for adaptive re-use. The success of this approach is attested to by a number of awards and publications, including: an Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) National Architecture Award for Public Architecture in 2016; the Dulux Colour Awards Grand Prix prize in 2016; its publication in Architecture Australia; its inclusion as an Archdaily Building of the Year (2017) finalist (Category: Refurbishment)—the only Australian project from a field of 3000 internationally, and its international publication in several online journals and news websites including, The Telegraph, ArchDaily and Dezeen.
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Created: Thu, 24 Aug 2017, 10:34:27 EST by Ashley Paine on behalf of School of Architecture