Government of Western Australia Official Site


Bold new museum to link the past, present and future of WA


Premier Colin Barnett recently announced that Brookfield Multiplex, with its international and Australian architecture team of OMA and HASSELL, has been awarded the contract to design and construct Western Australia’s world-class new museum. Designed to be a state, national and international drawcard, the new museum will offer compelling visitor experiences within dramatic architecture that links contemporary and historic buildings.

The $428.3 million project budget includes construction and design of the new museum, restoration works to existing heritage buildings, upgrades to the Harry Butler Research Centre in Welshpool, exhibition, content design and production, and public art. More than 800,000 visitors are expected to visit the new museum in its opening year, and it is predicted 1.4 million visitors will attend WA Museum locations across the State by 2020-21.

Unveiling the design, Mr Barnett said it was an exciting time for all West Australians. “The concept is bold and distinctive, from the vast public plaza to spacious galleries that overlook the CBD and link with important heritage buildings. West Australians will share in a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a vibrant new cultural home in the heart of Perth, and to change the way people from around the world engage with the State and our unique stories.”

The museum will be almost four times bigger than the old museum, features nearly 7,000 square metres of galleries, and includes a single 1,000sqm space to stage blockbuster exhibitions. There will also be education studios, viewing areas to see scientists and curators at work, and retail, food and beverage outlets.

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said it would not only create a visual landmark, it would be a living building with enthralling and interactive exhibits.

Mr Day said the new museum was taking a ‘people first’ approach, with a State-wide program of public engagement to shape the stories to be shared. “It will be a gateway to our State’s unique Aboriginal culture, our diverse and multicultural history, our extraordinary environments and incredible biodiversity, all of which will be underpinned by the Western Australian Museum’s internationally recognised scientific and cultural research,” he said.

Central to the project will be efficiency and sustainability, with an innovative Energy and Thermal Solution combining solar power and water heat-exchange systems to support energy savings right across the Perth Cultural Centre. 

Mr Barnett said early site works would start in the next few months, with construction expected to begin in early 2017. The project will support up to 3,300 jobs, with about 1,800 workers to be employed on-site during the construction phase. The new museum is on schedule to open in 2020.

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