Australian Museum Project Discover 2020

Following completion of an updated conservation management plan for the Museum in 2015, Orwell & Peter Phillips was engaged by the Museum to provide heritage and conservation advice for a master plan for the proposed redevelopment of the Museum site.

Accommodation studies had shown the need for a significant increase in floor area to enable more of the collection to be displayed, as well as to continue scientific and educational activities and host large visiting exhibitions. A master plan was developed over several months, with Orwell & Peter Phillips providing advice and reports on the heritage issues arising from each stage of the proposal, and suggesting opportunities for the recovery or enhancement of cultural significance, especially where this had been compromised by previous works.

When the Museum was successful in securing a major travelling exhibition, the first stage of the master plan needed to be implemented. Orwell & Peter Phillips was appointed as the heritage consultants to the project team, led by Cox Architecture and Neeson Murcutt Architects, and subsequently as the nominated heritage consultant for documentation and construction stages.

Services provided by Orwell & Peter Phillips included detailed advice to the design team, preparation of a detailed heritage impact assessment, briefing the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, review of documentation including heritage details and specification clauses, heritage induction for the contractor, and regular site inspections during construction to advise on heritage issues including stone supply and stonework repairs, construction detailing for heritage interpretation, and design of sensitive new work in the context of the significant elements of the Museum complex.

The project was completed in November 2020 and won the NSW Greenway Award for Heritage Architecture and the NSW Architecture Medallion for 2021, and a National Heritage Award from the Australian Institute of Architects.

Photos provided by Chris Bennett Photography.

  • Peter Phillips
  • Suite 1504, 109 Pitt Street
    Sydney, NSW 2000
  • Tel 02 9221 8882
    Fax 02 9221 8887