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Art Space, Casey

A fragment made from fragments: exhibiting art within libraries using on the idea of a distributed gallery, made from a kit of parts.

  • Client Brief

    Art Space, a project reimaging how local artists could be exhibited within libraries, required an innovative exhibition system. Libraries’ community focus makes them ideal spaces for exhibiting local artists, but also difficult ones. As a visually dense public space it risks relegating artwork to easily ignored decoration. To protect it from being so swamped, it risks disconnecting it from place.

    Design Response

    Our concept was a gallery distributed among other spaces, overlapping with the existing architecture. As a kit of parts each Art Space is a fragment made from fragments. The primary components are two aluminium channels – one custom extruded, the other folded. One channel provides attachment for artworks, the other, clipped into it, provides rigidity and cable concealment.

    Attached to the channels are hooks for 2d works, vitrines for jewellery and small sculptures, led lighting, and monitors linked to a multi-channel control unit. Maximising flexibility, we accommodated visual cabling rather than increasing complexity attempting to eliminate it.

    Through the arrangement of component parts each Art Space establishes a subtle, particular presence – an aspect of its host library, expressed as a pattern: as the space between two doorways, the intersection of a ceiling grid and the edge of a bookcase, the intensity of light, the shadow cast from a nearby window.

  • Art Space Design Characteristics

    Key values

    • Kit of parts
    • Rail system is consistent but reconfigurable
    • Robust materials
    • Simple, logical installation procedure
    • Highlighting but not overwhelming exhibited work

    Key materials

    • Custom extruded and laser cut custom folded aluminium
    • Natural and colour anodising
    • Clear acrylic display boxes
    • LED lighting
  • Design Specifications

    Core deliverables

    • Exhibition support system
    • Custom lighting
    • Display shelves with integrated lighting
    • Monitor mounting system
    • Electrical installation and cable routing

    Services Provided

    • Concept Design
    • Construction Documentation
    • Tendering
    • Fabrication and installation review

    Architect

    Workshop Architecture

    People

    Project Team: Simon Whibley, Bahman Andalib, Piran Reitze
    Engineer: Chris Drzewucki, Façade Engineering
    Metal Fabricators: Ullrich Aluminium, Douglas Sheet Metals
    Acrylic Fabricators: Apresto Plastics
    Installation: In fabrication
    Works By Bianca Hester + Bryan Spier appear courtesy of Sarah Scout Presents, Meredith Turnbull courtesy of Pieces of Eight Gallery

    Client

    City of Casey

    Date completed

    August 2015

    Location

    Libraries in Doveton, Cranbourne, Lynbrook and Endeavour Hills, Melbourne

  • Art Space Testimonials

    With the advent of the new Art Space system applications to the Art Space program have risen by 30% in the first year with growth in the sales of artworks. The experience of audience members have been reported as exceedingly positive across all the new spaces with specific comments around the ingenuity of the system and attractiveness of the design.

    Simon Doyle, Arts Development Officer, City of Casey

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