This year WSP were category sponsors of the 2012 PCA Innocation and Excellence Awards for the WSP Best Sustainable Development: New Building Award, finishing with nine finalists.
Not only were we sponsors, this year is extra special, with one of our remarkable projects Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania was nominated for two categories; the Best Public Building Award; and Best Tourism & Leisure Award.
On the night MONA took out the John Holland Award for Best Public Building Award and also the People's Choice Award! Congratulations to everyone who worked on this ground-breaking project.
About mighty MONA
Since MONA’s opening in early 2011, the museum has averaged over 10,000 visitors per week, doubling that anticipated, proving that MONA is a significant drawcard for tourism and art culture in Tasmania. It’s no surprise that in luxury travel rag Gourmet Traveller’s Top 100, MONA was named as the best experience in the world.
Located on the former Moorilla vineyard, MONA is the vision of mathematician, gambler, art collector and philanthropist David Walsh and pivotal to the project’s success was ensuring our services design supported not only the client and Fender Katsalidis’ vision, but specific artworks themselves. This meant designing around shapes, sizes, sounds, experiences and even in one case, smells.
The high level of complexity and need for future flexibility meant an exceedingly collaborative design approach was essential. Architects, engineers, curator, client, exhibition designer, lighting designer, technicians and operators all had input during the various stages of the project.
The 6000m2 museum consists of varied exhibition spaces and includes 1300m2 of ‘AAA’ rated gallery space designed to support touring exhibitions as well as fixed exhibitions and installations from David’s collection. The building is split into three levels, with the middle level housing all central services plant equipment, reticulating up and down into the main gallery spaces. This reduces cable, duct and pipe lengths, maximising efficiencies and minimising costs for various systems.
WSP were involved with the building services design, which includes an integrated displacement air delivery & return process. There are no visible ducts or grills, as all ducting is concealed within wall cavities and the customised diffusion system is built into strategically placed wall plenums.
Fire detection and protection is provided through a combination of smoke detection with dry-pipe sprinklers and a VESDA system, which samples the air to prove an existing fire prior to charging the pipes with water, providing exceptional accuracy and limited fault potential.
As MONA will continually alter and tune their exhibits and change the interior services systems, the design needed to cater for ease of modification for years to come. An example, the CCTV system utilised an IP based network, allowing cameras to be relocated throughout the museum.
Our Vision Design team worked on lighting throughout the museum, including several of the integrated artworks and the surrounding landscape and architectural features, which are plentiful. Lighting to many of the spaces have been tuned as part of this exhibit such that there is no ‘general’ lighting at all, only that of the artworks.
For a project which began with humble proportions, the result is a museum worth much more than its $75 million construction cost. Its evolution continues, with a new winery expansion just completed and the MONA Library near opening. For anyone thinking of travelling to Hobart, you must add MONA to the hit-list. It really is (as David Walsh describes it) “subversive Disneyland for adults”.
WSP along with its specialist divisions; WSP Built Ecology, providing environmentally sustainable design; and Vision Design providing lighting design, are very proud to have worked on such a remarkable piece of architecture and one that will go down in Australian history.