The design concept both preserves and transforms, is equal parts subtle and dramatic. Renowned aspects of the current setting are maintained and their presence enhanced with an array of new and compelling visitor experiences. – Kerstin Thompson
Sensitively embracing the existing landscape and its ecology, the design responds to current and future climatic conditions with inspiration drawn from rural Australia’s trestle flood bridges. The facilities are housed within a new 160-metre-long by 9-metre-wide structure that at one end abuts the Art Museum within the sloping hillside, continuing along to bridge an existing gully.
SULMAN MEDAL FOR PUBLIC ARCHITECTURE
In July 2022 Kerstin Thompson Architects was awarded the highest honour that can be bestowed in the public architecture category of the NSW Architecture Awards, the Sulman Medal for public architecture.
A counterpoint to the Bridge structure the new gallery is subterranean, buried within the reinstated hill. Here the drama will be in coexistence of the works of the gallery and framings of the site – sky above or forest edge.
The concept both preserves and transforms, is equal parts subtle and dramatic. The Arrival Hall frames the culturally significant cluster of buildings from the time of the Boyds’ occupation including his studio and also key features of the landscape that inspired him like Arthur’s Hill.
The arrival terrace and forecourts create a series of event and learning spaces and make fully accessible the sloping site’s considerable level changes.
The core visitor program is collocated adjacent to the historic Boyd cluster to achieve a centralised and single heart. New and existing buildings are united by a common forecourt. The Gallery and other more climatically sensitive program is subterranean: to maintain the setting of the Boyd Education Centre and to achieve passive thermal stability. By contrast the Bridge building is in the spirit of plein air – less climate control and more indoor/outdoor flow.
Stay on site and experience what makes Bundanon unique. From 2022, visitors can spend two nights staying at the Bridge. All bedrooms come with ensuite bathrooms and offer spectacular views.
Gully & Stepped terraces
Visitors arrive via the terraced forecourt. Beside this, below the belly of the bridge is an intriguing wet gully landscape for exploration and discovery.
From within the Bridge forms a sheltering veranda dramatically suspended above the gully and encompassing views towards Arthur’s Hill. Between the interior spaces such as workshops and accommodation suites are outdoor but sheltered areas for an array of activities.
The Bridge over the Gully
The Bridge over the Gully contains some of the visitor facilities including workshops and accommodation suites. Imagined as a piece of infrastructure the singularity of the bridge’s form serves as a datum to highlight the distinctive undulating topography of Shoalhaven. Recalling the trestle bridges endemic to flood landscapes such as this, the dramatic bridging structure straddles the gully from ridge to ridge, allows sporadic waters to flow beneath it and for the reinstatement of the wet gully ecology.