Feature | Landscape | Museum
A contemporary concrete building that becomes part of the landscape.

The Orange Regional Museum is a striking and contemporary form within the rural town of Orange. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Tom Ferguson

The Orange Regional Museum is situated in Orange, a regional center around four hours west of Sydney. It’s a thriving and charming town, with a strong sense of community and a culturally progressive spirit. The new Orange Regional Museum, by Crone, is a striking and contemporary addition to this place. Through a design approach that combines architectural and urban strategy with landscape, the building creates a new public precinct in the heart of Orange.

an aerial image showing the green roof of the museum.

The Orange Regional Museum occupies a prominent street corner, and faces inwards to a new public plaza. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Troy Pearson

The design approach of Orange Regional Museum begins with its urban form. The museum is a highly three-dimensional building, which folds, sweeps and tucks itself around its site. This architectural gesture is a result of Crone’s design strategy, which overlays ‘building, landscape and events.’

Orange Regional Museum occupies a prominent street corner, and sits adjacent to several existing cultural buildings, including the local art gallery, civic theatre and library. Admirably, Crone’s project stitches these existing public facilities together, orienting the buildings around a new public square.

the glass facade underneath the protection of the large concrete roof.

With its urban form, the Orange Regional creates a shared public plaza. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Tom Ferguson

On approach, the long concrete façade of Orange Regional Museum gives the building great presence, and defines a new urban edge. The building is unashamedly contemporary, and sits confidently within this heritage town.

a path winds up on the roof of the building.

The building shifts upwards from the footpath, encouraging people onto a green roof. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Tom Ferguson

Orange Regional Museum is a tapered and tailored piece of architecture. Every edge of the building responds particularly to its context and purpose, and the result is deceptively simple. Along one edge, the roof plane sweeps down to provide access to a green-grassed roof. This surface rises up from the footpath, providing passers by with a place to stop, relax or enjoy city views.

an amphitheatre is created in the courtyard of the museum

A new amphitheatre space faces the plaza, and supports a public events program. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Tom Ferguson

Meanwhile, along another side, the building terraces down in a series of steps. This amphitheatre forms another gathering space, where events can take place.  These nips and tucks undoubtedly create an urban environment that is playful and engaging, where people feel welcomed by the architecture.

a cafe with yellow umbrellas is formed through a tuck in the building form

A tuck in the building form becomes space for an outdoor cafe. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Tom Ferguson

The Orange Regional Museum is 1300m2 in size, and includes a visitor information centre, café, council offices and permanent and temporary exhibition spaces. The internal layout of the building is intentionally flexible, with a range of open spaces that can be adjusted to suit the diverse requirements of contemporary exhibitions.

an interior shot showing the entry of the museum is lined with timber slats.

The entry to the Orange Regional Museum is bright, warm and welcoming. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Tom Ferguson

Entry to the building takes place through the new civic plaza, which frames the older buildings on one side, and the new on the other. The dialogue between these buildings reinstates the relevance and significance of the older cultural facilities, giving them new life.

a dark interior exhibition space

The museum’s interior can be flexibly programmed. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Tom Ferguson

Moving inside, the project is rigorously planned to make the most of its angular geometry. Throughout the project, a reductive material palette of concrete, metal and glass provides a stark and simple backdrop to the exhibitions and activities taking place.

the green roof of the museum with a group of people walking on it.

The green roof provides thermal mass for the spaces below, and prevents the museum from becoming an urban heat island. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Tom Ferguson

Sustainability was also a priority for this project. Across the building, concrete is employed to maximise thermal mass and improve heating, cooling and acoustic performance. Likewise, the building form is oriented to shade key public spaces in the heat of summer.

a night shot showing the illumination of the interior spaces through the glass facade.

The Orange Regional Museum at night. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Tom Ferguson

Orange Regional Museum is a bold and compelling cultural building. It elevates this regional center with a complex and dignified piece of architecture, and provides this town with a place where it can collect and reflect on its history. 

a black and white drawing of the roof plan

Roof Plan. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Crone

a black and white image of the ground floor plan

Ground Floor Plan. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Crone

a black and white image of the south elevation

South Elevation. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Crone

a black and white image of the north-west elevation

North-west Elevation. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Crone

a black and white section through the building showing the interior space

Section. Orange Regional Museum, Crone. © 2017 Crone

INFORMATION

CITY Orange
COUNTRY Australia
SIZE 1300 sq.m
ARCHITECT Crone

CLIENT

CONTRACTOR

PUBLISHER