From a power station to an art gallery, our plan to transform the East Perth Power Station is a very tangible connection to the power of the Western Australian landscape.
It’s also a way to return a disused space in central Perth to the community and be a ‘bookend’ to the city, an extension of the sporting and cultural precinct with convenient transport connections.
The building’s overhangs and cantilevers – rotating and shifting ‘planks’ – create an urban plateau that’s directly inspired by the cliffs along the vast Australian state’s coastline and the drama of land meeting water.
This terraced façade is central to the experience. People are encouraged to climb up and experience the expansive terraces and views, as well as walk and linger under the protective overhangs. The surrounding landscape is stepped down to reflecting pools and surfaces at the edge of Perth’s Swan River, where the building maintains its historic presence. A riverside cafe plus exhibition and performance spaces bring the riverfront to life, while inside a large rotating atrium connects the old and new and creates a series of diverse gallery and lobby spaces.
The gallery would exhibit Australian indigenous and contemporary art, as well as travelling international exhibitions. Ultimately, the concept was designed to generate excitement over possible future uses for the power station site.