The external façade of SAM comprises four thin floating perforated L-shaped plates suspended in the landscape whose form references the overhang of traditional Australian verandas that offer shade and shelter.
Three of the plates comprise powder-coated aluminium with the southern approach incorporating an integrated Visitor’s Centre super graphic and the entry to SAM on Wyndham Street featuring a cut out offering a tantalising glimpse of the interior.
The rich ochre-red corten steel of the fourth plate faces the lake and river plain.
From a distance, the plates give virtually no indication of interior life and waits to be discovered and explored.
At their base, they float seemingly unsupported over an open, visibly accessible and highly activated ground plane.
Each plate is simultaneously an object in its own right and an integral part of the whole.
The plates group together, at different heights and contrasting materiality, to form a cube composition at a scale comparable to the surrounding red river gums.
Each facade plate becomes a canvas, layered into the treed landscape of dappled light and shade with the ability to transform as a base for temporary installations or projection imagery.
The design is integrated into the park via a dramatic Art Hill, screening all building services, back-of-house and loading under the expanded parkland.
The Art Hill creates an upper ground level, enabling the museum cafe to enjoy an elevated outlook while being directly connected to, and accessible from, the park.