PNG National Museum & Art Gallery
Papua New Guinea National Museum & Art Gallery
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Dr Stephen Long
In 2015 we were engaged to design the NMAG Built on Culture gallery refurbishment and exhibition design. This project established the design principles for the refurbishment of the remaining gallery spaces in 2017. The original design of NMAG by the Australian architect Martin Fowler created dynamic gallery spaces using robust off form concrete and concrete blockwork, and a dramatic sweeping roof on a draped steel cable structure. Our intention was to reveal the qualities of the original building by stripping the spaces back to the original and then only adding in new materials where needed.
Gallery-style hanging walls were added where needed to allow for the massed display of objects. Our gallery and exhibition design respects and celebrates the social and cultural significance of the objects on display as well as their material qualities. The design aims to contribute to the transformation of NMAG into a vibrant cultural hub that is welcoming and familiar.
The exhibition design features over 400 collection items ranging from large timber carvings through to textiles, oral history recordings, and natural history objects. The collections are displayed to provide visitors with a sense of spaciousness and to highlight the qualities of each of the objects.
A feature of this project was the collaborative working relationship between the NMAG curatorial staff and the Architectus exhibition design team. For most of the NMAG staff this was their first major exhibition. The project was delivered within a very short time frame with the gallery refurbishment and exhibition design commencing in January 2018 and the exhibition opening in October 2018.
This project was funded by the Australian Government, through the PNG-Australia partnership.