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Architect announced to deliver Bundanon Trust Masterplan for Arthur Boyd property

Architect announced to deliver Bundanon Trust Masterplan for Arthur Boyd property
November 23, 2016

Bundanon Trust has announced Kerstin Thompson Architects (KTA) as the winner of the Trust’s national competition to deliver the Masterplan to enrich the 1100-hectare property in regional NSW with a world-class creative learning centre for school students, visitor hub, residential quarters and a new gallery to house the $37.5 million Arthur Boyd art collection.

New Zealand-based Megan Wraight has been announced as the landscape architect who will work in partnership with KTA on the outstanding landscape qualities of the site.

Central to the Masterplan, KTA will design a new Boyd Art Gallery designed to house more than 3,800 items featuring more than 1,300 artworks by Arthur Boyd plus works by leading Australian artists including Boyd peers Sidney Nolan, Charles Blackman, Brett Whiteley and John Perceval, as well as contemporary works drawn from participants in the Trust’s artist in residence program.

The jury, chaired by John Denton, Director of Denton Corker Marshall, and including Bundanon Trust Chair Shane Simpson AM, landscape architect and newly appointed Dean of Design, Architecture and Building at UTS, Professor Elizabeth Mossop and Brian Zulaikha, Director of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer were unanimous in their support for KTA’s proposal.

Commenting on KTA’s submission, Denton stated “the jury’s unanimous support for the appointment of Kerstin Thompson Architects reflects the sympathetic and artistically aligned approach and philosophy of their proposal to the site’s landscape character and cultural significance.”

For KTA, the Masterplan development provided an opportunity to further the conversation between art and environment that permeated Arthur Boyd’s works.

Thompson added “we are delighted and honoured to have been appointed as architect for such a culturally significant project.

“Arthur Boyd’s vision indelibly changed the way we perceive the Australian landscape; through his work our senses are sharpened to the intensity of its colours, textures and moods.

“The Masterplan offers the chance to conjure a design in keeping with Boyd’s distillations of the Australian landscape; its beauty and harshness, contours, light, colours and tones.”

A unique architectural competition, there was no final design submitted, rather a philosophy, process and vision.

As Bundanon Trust Chief Executive Deborah Ely explains “we sought to appoint an architect that we felt was attuned to Arthur’s values, rather than select a firm based on a single design concept.”

For KTA this vision featured “A form that possesses a gentle strength; subtle and restrained. Adopting an approach that is direct, robust, unfussy; honest in its expression, humble in its beauty, our focus for the design will fall less on iconic form making than on evoking experiences of and about place.”

The full team includes Kerstin Thompson Architects, Wraight + Associates with Craig Burton (landscape architecture and ecology), Atelier10 (ecologically sustainable design) and Irwin Consulting (structural and civil engineering). The group will work closely with Bundanon Trust staff, Shoalhaven locals, and other stakeholders.

Kerstin Thompson Architects was chosen from a shortlist of six architecture firms including Virginia Kerridge Architect; Kerstin Thompson Architects; Room 11; Peter Elliot Architecture + Urban Design; Jackson Clements Burrows Architects; and Chenchow Little Architects.

Gifted to the Australian people by Arthur and Yvonne Boyd in 1993, Bundanon Trust encompasses the Bundanon Homestead site and the Riversdale site, currently welcoming around 40,000 visitors each year. The Trust was placed on the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2015 in recognition of Bundanon’s important landscape, architecture and significance to Australia’s art and cultural history.

Riversdale is one of four sites on the 1,100-hectare property and is separate from the Bundanon location that houses the 1866 homestead and other historic buildings. The site also houses the award-winning Boyd Education Centre designed by acclaimed Australian architect Glenn Murcutt, Wendy Lewin and Reg Lark.

The development is expected to deliver substantial regional economic benefits including $51 million of spending and 142 jobs during the construction phase, with an additional $10.4 million and 59 jobs to flow into the economy once the site is complete.

The Masterplan also envisages a doubling in visitor numbers that will secure Bundanon as a leading cultural and tourist attraction in regional Australia, while delivering substantial economic benefits to the NSW Shoalhaven region.

Gifted to the Australian people in 1993 by Arthur and Yvonne Boyd, the Bundanon property (which includes the Bundanon Homestead site and the Riversdale site) is located on 1,100 hectares of pristine bush land overlooking the Shoalhaven River, near Nowra in NSW, two and a half hours south of Sydney.

The Australian Government established Bundanon Trust as a wholly owned Australian Government company limited by guarantee, with the Company holding the gift as a charitable trust.

In addition to caring for a collection of nearly 4,000 artworks and objects, the Trust supports the development of arts practice across all disciplines through its artist in residence program, its unique education programs for children and adults and a dynamic, on-site, public program, including concerts and special events, open days and group visits, allowing thousands of people to experience Bundanon every year.

Images: The Bundanon Trust property (top and middle) and the initial concept for its expansion (below).

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