Richard Hall Architect fills heritage-listed gasometer frame with art gallery

You are able to walk in and around the columns and diagonal bracing to be able to be up close with the old gasometer in ways never before possible.
– Richard Hall

Richard Hall Architect has designed a new art gallery for the Australian city of Launceston in the heritage-listed circular shell of an old gasometer.

The DADA gallery will house the art of a private collector so that the public can enjoy it as well.

The site is the last remaining gasometer frame in the city and is in a high-profile position close to the city's historic Albert Hall and opposite Launceston City Park.

Hall tells CLAD that the premise of the design is "the moment the gas escaped", referencing the absence of gas due to the disuse of the gasometer and its imminent replacement with art.

Measuring 25m (82ft) in diameter and 20m (66ft) in height, the frame will house six floors in total, with three floors to be used as gallery spaces.

On the ground floor there will be a local makers workshop, a display area and a café with internal glazed sections for café patrons to view the art being made.

The top floor houses a 150-seat restaurant with panoramic views of the city, the park and the river, as well as a bar overlooking the park.

One floor will be given over to storage and there will also be a pedestrian bridge linking the gallery to the park and to a proposed university complex across a nearby river.

Speaking to CLAD Hall said: "The existing frame is a spidery steel structure, which I love and appreciate because of my previous career as a steel detailer.

"The frame has been kept in its entirety, with the design being mostly enclosed within the frame. Where it isn’t you are able to walk in and around the columns and diagonal bracing to be able to be up close with the old gasometer in ways never before possible.

"Most of the cladding is to be a steel riveted cylinder replicating the original gasometer gas enclosure bell, along with industrial finished concrete panels and glass. Highlight cladding of some areas are bare copper panels to oxidize to turn green over time. Other parts are stainless steel and copper 'pipes' to make the design look more machine-like."

The project is expected to be completed by 2021.

Contact: Richard Hall Architect

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