In collaboration with Stephanie Smith and Ken McBryde of innovarchi our competition submission for the existing site sought to reorganise the interior and substantially increase the amount of free, publicly accessible space within the existing museum, thereby significantly increasing visitor patronage. Fundamental to the success of any museum is it’s perception in the wider community as a public destination. The opportunity existed for the Powerhouse to link into a larger, changing context. Opening up the museum and introducing free programs, combined with public spaces that offer both a destination and connection will help the new building to cement a strategy for linking into new and existing pathways — ensuring a strong connection to the surroundings.
The Powerhouse Museum lives in a global city with many destinations that compete for attention. To make the museum the leading cultural destination in the 21st century, we can enhance our presence by being community, digitally, technologically, interactively and globally focussed. ‘Opening’ the museum will not only create higher social interest, but will also convey a sense of generosity towards the community.