The project is one which is highly collaborative, not only with ACMI and Second Story but also with our own architectural team (including Schuler Shook), all of which form an integral part of the design process. The ACMI Renewal involved the refreshing of itsfree exhibition space, the creation of smaller gallery space for rolling programmes, enhanced public spaces to encourage dwelling andcapture the mind of the opportunistic visitor with offerings that extend beyond the traditional bounds of its gallery spaces.
The first floor, accessed off Federation square, will provide a new dining experience, new and modernised learning spaces, anexpanded public function space, as well as a revitalised ticketing experience and public amenities. More importantly it provides a newhybrid gallery/ testing public space to create a place that allows you to inter-act with the museum in a more relaxed setting as well asexperience test-bed projects.
One of the key aims of the project was rationalising ACMI’s difficult multi-level nature to provide a building that feels legible andcohesive, this is achieved through the biggest architectural move; driving through a large timber stair that links the two levels,providing integral visual connectivity between the two floors. This ‘Living Stair’ not only provides a visual link but it provides a place ofdwell and respite, two previously uncomfortable activities.
“When radically different ideas and people collide, wonderful things can happen. And they did between Second Story and BKK during our work on the ACMI renewal.
While a project of this size and complexity requires many kinds of companies to work together — the visitor doesn’t see these individual pieces—they experience the whole. Physical, digital, architecture, story, light, sound, technology, services… these are all just elements of a larger unified experience. And the stronger the collaboration between the pieces, the better the work.
All openness and no ego. Words and actions purely in service to making the work better. This was my experience with the BKK team. There is an elevated cohesion in work that is born of a relationship like this. And you feel it in a visceral way when you experience the ACMI renewal.”