Client: National Archives of Australia
AMC was engaged by the National Archives of Australia (NAA) in 2019 to provide architectural, interior design and project management services for the design and delivery of a program of refurbishment works at its heritage listed precinct in Parkes, ACT to improve visitor facilities and opportunities for increased engagement. Works included the repurposing of an existing courtyard to provide a new visitors’ entry and reception area, a new gift shop, café, function space, a new gallery space and refurbishment of the existing gallery and reading rooms.
Given the heritage significance of the NAA building, AMC worked closely with the NAA, heritage consultant and the National Capital Authority (NCA) to design a scheme that was respectful and sympathetic to the existing architectural expression of the main building within a relatively restricted budget, while creating a contemporary, welcoming and functional visitor engagement area. The enclosure of an existing courtyard to form the new visitor entry and reception areas created an opportunity to showcase and express existing architectural features such as masonry archways, red brick pavers and wrought ironwork into the design of the new spaces. Tinted glazed ceiling elements bathe the internal spaces in natural light and visual interest with views through to upper floors and balconies. The interior spaces are characterised by a warm palette of natural materials including blonde timbers and red brick pavers contrasted against charcoal joinery, black steel and wrought iron geometric elements that reference the Art Deco style of the NAA precinct. The targeted placement of plants and pendant lighting soften the internal spaces and create intimate seating areas in the café with views to the landscaped grounds surrounding the NAA buildings.