Craft Victoria Gallery

2001
Melbourne, Australia

We won this commission for a small Craft Gallery via a limited competition. The brief was to accommodate the headquarters of Craft Victoria into a semi – basement space in a 100 year old building in the Melbourne CBD. The brief called for new gallery space with a retail section, a reference library, offices and storage and kitchen facilities. We worked on this project concurrently with Lab X and so had the opportunity to develop ideas about small gallery spaces, albeit in existing structures.

In this project the length of the existing 400 sq m shell was exaggerated by dividing lengthways to form gallery space on one side and storage on the other. One large gallery space could then be divided by a sliding wall to form two smaller spaces, with a third installation gallery tucked around the corner at the end of the procession of spaces. The idea of curiosity and intrigue is evidenced here, where the visitor is drawn to the third space by virtue of its positioning.

The space is deliberately elemental and the rawness of the steel, timber and brickwork deliberately recalls the material concerns of the arts + crafts movement of the late nineteenth century and the aspirations of John Ruskin, William Morris and others.