In collaboration with ACMI, Razorfish and Schuler Shook

“I had another walk through the site yesterday - but wanted to write to say again - what an incredible job you’ve done in designing this project. It feels like we’ve solved so many of the inherent issues ACMI faced in our tenancy - standing at the top of the staircase on Fed Square level you look around and its feels like you are standing in the middle of a museum. Likewise as you enter from Flinders Street it opens up and invites you in. It really connects across the verticality as a united entity.”
Katrina Sedgwick, ACMI CEO
"ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) is undergoing a visionary redevelopment, transforming the museum into one of the world’s leading hubs for screen culture, education and innovation."
"A visionary redevelopment, celebrating the past, present and future of screen culture in the 21st century"
- Tim


A visionary redevelopment celebrating the past, present and future of screen culture in the 21st Century

The project was highly collaborative, not only with ACMI and Razorfish but also with our architectural team. All of that formed an integral part of the design process. The ACMI Renewal involved the refreshing of its free exhibition space, the creation of smaller gallery space for rolling programmes, enhanced public spaces to encourage dwelling and capture 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, an expanded public function space, as well as a revitalised ticketing experience and public amenities. More importantly it provides a new hybrid gallery/ testing public space to create a place that allows you to interact with the museum in a more relaxed setting as well as experience 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 and cohesive, 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 of dwell and respite, two previously uncomfortable activities.

Razorfish's Joel Krieger on collaboration

“When radically different ideas and people collide, wonderful things can happen. And they did between Razorfish 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.”


Australian Centre for the Moving Image


Schuler Shook


Public, Cultural & Commercial






Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation


Shannon McGrath


2021 AIA Victorian Architecture Award, Winner, Interior Design
2021 AIA Victorian Architecture Award, Shortlisted, Melbourne Prize
2021 DrivenxDesign Melbourne Design Awards, Gold, Interior
2021 Good Design Awards Australia, Winner, Urban Design and Public Space
2021 Australian Interior Design Awards, Shortlisted, Public – Gallery & Exhibition Spaces
2021 Idea Awards, Shortlisted, Public Space