Hall Studio

Buxton Contemporary

A project by Fender Katsalidis Australia for The University of Melbourne and the Michael Buxton Collection.  Commenced whilst Director of Interiors at FKA, Kathie was involved in this significant project from site feasibility stage through concept, design and documentation stages, developing the building form and materiality and working closely with the complex stakeholder group. A key addition to the University of Melbourne’s Southbank Arts Precinct (Victoria College of the Arts), Buxton Contemporary Gallery houses an integral collection of Australian Art, for national and international audiences. Named after its donors, Michael and Janet Buxton (who in 2014 made one of the most significant acts of cultural philanthropy in Australian history), the key focus of his collection and its significance is its representation of core living Australian artist’s work. As both an educational space and public gallery, the public offering balances a complex functional brief of exhibitions, performance, research, teaching and publishing.

The Gallery is contained partially in the existing Police Garages and its 1916 heritage-listed shell the new architectural works are represented as an elegant foil, both in materiality and its approach to site. Nestled in amongst other prominent buildings in the Arts precinct, Buxton Contemporary Gallery is a deliberate counterpoint to the energetic and boisterous typology of its adjacencies. The external fabric adopts materiality that reflects the changing light conditions (and contrast to the existing brickwork) on site, where vertical plans are composed in varying scales and planar alignments. These variations are a response to the scale of the street passage, and to the more intimate gallery internal spaces.

Internally, a courtyard is carved out, providing a sense of separation and relief between the old and new elements on site, as a place of acknowledgement of past and present coming together. Buxton Contemporary Gallery sees extensive reconstruction and refurbishing works combine with new amenity cloaked in a sensitive approach to light and scale. Housing the largest outdoor screen for display of moving image art, this vital Gallery and Collection represents an important aspect of Australian Arts culture.

Buxton Contemporary Project Information

Project Type
Contemporary Gallery
Melbourne, Victoria
Project Size
March 2018
Kathie Hall while Director of Interiors at FKA
Fender Katsalidis Architects
Maben Group
Inaugural Show Curator
Melissa Keys
Helen Johnson, Marco Fusinato, Mikala Dwyer, Shaun Gladwell
Lisbeth Grosmann, John Gollings, Christian Cappuro


Buxton Contemporary


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