Shepparton Art Museum to open in November


The Shepparton Art Museum – the iconic new cultural destination designed by internationally renowned architects Denton Corker Marshall – is scheduled to open to the public on November 20, 2021. As the only public art museum in Greater Shepparton and the North Central Victoria, the museum aims to showcase superb art in Shepparton and to contribute to the cultural enrichment, community engagement and economic prosperity of the region.

The design of the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) was unanimously selected in an architectural competition in 2017 and approved by the Greater Shepparton City Council. The Regional Art Museum designed by Denton Corker Marshall joins the firm’s impressive cultural portfolio which includes the Australian Pavilion in Venice, the Melbourne Museum, the Stonehenge Exhibition and Visitors Center and the Sydney Museum.

Located in the Victoria area, about a two hour drive north of Melbourne, SAM is located in the land of the Yorta Yorta peoples, on the shores of Lake Victoria Park, in Shepparton. The new building was funded by local council, state and federal funding, and private philanthropic and community support through the SAM Foundation. The design of SAM was carried out by the builders Kane Constructions; Arup Engineers, Building Surveyors Steve Watson & Partners, Landscape Architects Urban Initiatives, with signage and guidance by Studio Ongarato, all of whom have worked closely with Denton Corker Marshall and Greater Shepparton City Council.

SAM, one of Australia’s outstanding regional art museums, presents its exhibits and collections in new and exciting ways and creates a welcoming, inclusive and engaging space for all audiences. Artists are at the heart of their work. Their programming is designed to be locally relevant and engage with contemporary global ideas. SAM is recognized for its extensive collection of Australian ceramics and its collection of indigenous art of national significance.

John Denton, Founding Director of Denton Corker Marshall, notes that “The Shepparton Art Museum was a great competition to be won because it represents such an important cultural contribution to a regional town like Shepparton. Situated between the lake and the main road to the city of Melbourne, it presents a surprisingly bold signal – a contemporary new building added to the fabric of the city. “

Shepparton Art Museum‘s Artistic Director and CEO, Rebecca Coates, says “the building is all about hope and aspiration, with a range of welcoming spaces and places designed to invite all members of the public to come together. meet, appreciate and appropriate the arts and culture. . There is a play, performance and cozy reflection with natural light and views of the landscape connecting people to the context and the landscape.

Designed to act as a ‘living’ building where every surface presents an opportunity for an exhibition, event or installation, the new art museum is characterized by the simplicity and clarity of materials and form and includes a art museum housing more than 4000 works of art, four main galleries including a space and workshops dedicated to children; Visitor Information Center; Kaiela Arts Indigenous Community Art Center; an open-air amphitheater and Art Hill; and a café and an event space for 150 people and a terrace, all in a cubic building of 5,300 square meters.

With a restricted ground floor footprint due to a diversion channel through the site, the building is extruded vertically over five levels to generate the distinctive small and large art museum with a panoramic view of the surrounding lake and forest of Goulburn Red River Gum.

Designed as an “earth sculpture” nestled in the surrounding landscape, like Shepparton’s tallest building, it acts as a beacon in Shepparton’s low, flat topography. The exterior facade of the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) features four thin perforated L-shaped floating plaques suspended in the landscape whose shape refers to the overhang of traditional Australian verandas that provide shade and shelter. Three of the plaques are powder-coated aluminum, the southern approach incorporating a super integrated visitor center graphic and SAM’s entrance on Wyndham Street with a cutout providing a tantalizing glimpse of the interior. The rich ocher-red corten steel of the fourth plate faces the plain of the lake and the river.

From a distance, the boards give hardly any indication of the inner life and wait to be discovered and explored. At their base, they seemingly float unsupported above an open, visibly accessible, and highly activated ground plane. Each plate is both an object in its own right and an integral part of the whole. The plaques are grouped together, at different heights and contrasting materialities, to form a cubic composition on a scale comparable to the surrounding red river gums. Each facade panel becomes a canvas, superimposed in the wooded landscape of dappled light and shadow, with the possibility of transforming itself into a base for temporary installations or projection images.

The design is integrated into the park via a spectacular art hill, protecting all of the building’s services, the rear of the house and the cargo under the enlarged park. The Art Hill creates an upper ground floor, allowing the museum café to enjoy an elevated view while being directly connected and accessible from the park.

Internally, the transparent and accessible museum experience is centered on an open circulation gallery with four different galleries, totaling 800 square meters, spread over four floors, including two large AA-rated exhibition spaces that can accommodate exhibitions and loans. international importance. Gallery spaces include The Lin Onus Gallery, People’s Gallery, Williamson Community Space, SAM Kids Space, the Bill Kelly Peace Room designed as a collection viewing space and showcases at the entrance to SAM and on each floor with new orders and the SAM ceramic collection. . The interior design – the interconnected multi-level spaces, the materials, the texture, with the intuitive orientation by Studio Ongarato – are layered with contrasts of drama, reflection, perspective, information and discovery, all designed as integral elements of the museum experience.

For more information on the Shepparton Art Museum, visit

For more information on Denton Corker Marshall – recognized as one of Australia’s most famous design practices – visit

Images: Shepparton Art Museum. Credit: John Gollings Photography

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