Rockhampton Museum of Art

Rockhampton Museum of Art

Rockhampton’s new Museum of Art meets international museum exhibition standards, is designed to immediately and democratically connect people with art, increases the connectivity and porosity of the city, provides opportunities for a variety of functions and events and sits within and strengthens the character of its heritage setting.

Under the leadership of former Director, Bianca Acimovic, Lindsay and Kerry Clare designed and delivered on time and within budget (lump sum tender) the new Rockhampton Museum of Art opened in early 2022.

The quality of the architectural design was pivotal in achieving state and federal funding while the business case and budget were maintained by design. With funding from Arts Queensland, the project is a significant project for the state.

Value was added during design phases with additional programmable spaces achieved within budget for the client.

Overlooking the riverfront setting and sitting above flood levels, the gallery is designed as a new centrepiece for creative and social events, reinvigorating the city’s heritage precinct. The project achieved State Heritage Council approval for its complementary approach to the neighbouring state heritage listed 1899 Customs House.

The gallery diagram centres around an east-west ‘interior street’ that generates a new connection from the city’s main street through to the river. The new street is defined by two levels of high-ceilinged gallery spaces on one side and open function areas on the other, that culminate in a three-storey glazed atrium to engage directly with Customs House.

RMOA provides inspiring new spaces for artists and the public and supports ongoing creative endeavour and engagement over time. Large gallery spaces with high ceilings increase the gallery’s adaptability.

The new building expands RMOA’s capacity to conserve and exhibit its internationally significant collection – including important representative works of the ‘greats’ of Australian modernist artists. It will also expands the loan capacity for travelling blockbuster exhibitions.

Lindsay and Kerry Clare (Clare Design as lead design architect).

Architects in collaboration: Clare Design + Conrad Gargett + Brian Hooper Architect.


2023 AIA National Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture (Clare Design with Conrad Gargett and Brian Hooper)
2023 The FDG Stanley Award for Public Architecture, QLD, 2023
2023 AIA Central Qld J W Wilson Award for Building of the Year, Rockhampton Museum of Art
2023 AIA Central Qld Regional Citation, Rockhampton Museum of Art

“The new Rockhampton Museum of Art is a significant cultural project for the Central Queensland region. Located in Rockhampton’s urban centre, the project establishes a new cultural hub for the city.  The Museum plays an important role in the precinct, contributing amenity alongside a new pedestrian link that connects the city centre and the rivers’s edge. Elevation of the project’s internal program allows the ground plane to address the public realm with soft, active edges. The architectural language has been established through a genuine, site-specific response, setting up a direct dialogue with the city’s colonial history. A palette of bronze cladding and locally sourced sandstone speaks to the fabric of the precinct while a colonnade of new columns provides a contemporary interpretation of the monumental portico that is championed by the adjoining Customs House. The architects’ experience and proficiency with this type of building is evident in their execution of both the galleries and the associated back of house facilities; the performance and serviceability of the Museum have clearly been central to their focus. Thoughtfully conceived and highly refined, this project delivers an exceptional outcome for both the city and the state.”

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