Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art wins people’s choice award for Tasmanian architecture

Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art wins people’s choice award for Tasmanian architecture
Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art wins people’s choice award for Tasmanian architecture

Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art has won the people’s choice award at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2012 Tasmanian Architecture Awards.

Designed by Fender Katsalidis, MONA also won the Alan C Walker Award for Public Architecture.

The museum is carved into a peninsula of Hobart’s Moorilla wine estate and features interconnecting chambers that eschews a programmed circulation strategy for individual journeys of discovery.

“MONA is a place of mystery, exploration and wonder – unconventional, unpredictable, where the visitor can feel comfortably lost amongst extraordinary art,” the jury noted.

The museum was started by eccentric millionaire and professional gambler David Walsh in 2011. It’s the largest privately funded museum in Australia. The gallery represents the whims of Walsh, who says the museum acts as a subversive Disneyland.

Visitors arrive to the sex- and death-themed museum via a ferry service, which docks near the grand entrance. Entry leads down into the subterranean chambers, where the journey begins.

Nonda Katsalidis and Walsh became friends after Walsh moved into the penthouse designed by Katsalidis in Melbourne.

“He is the greatest architect in the world for my purposes, in terms of what I wanted to do,” Walsh told Australian Design Review.

“He doesn’t build the same building over and over again.”

In total, 23 prizes and commendations were awarded at the ceremony.

Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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