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Gallery News New gallery for Descanso site


The new US$2.9m (£1.9m, €2.1m) Sturt Haaga gallery, which will showcase exhi- bitions of art, science and history, has opened at the Descanso Gardens botanical gardens in California, US. The space has been five


years in planning with fund- ing being provided entirely from private sources, led by a US$2.1m (£1.3m, E1.5m) giſt local residents Heather Sturt Haaga and Paul G Haaga Jr. The gallery was created by restoring an existing structure adjacent to the historic Boddy House, located in the southeast corner of the 150-acre botan- ical garden’s property, and doubling it in size with additional gallery and support spaces. Designed by Los Angeles-based architects


FIRST PERSON EXPERIENCE


Frederick Fisher & Partners, the exterior fea- tures seek to integrate the building with the surrounding gardens and landscape.


Kathleen Whyman


San Francisco museum unveils new brand A


n unseen beast snarls eerily in the distance. The air is dank and


The Asian Art Museum (AAM) in San Francisco, US, has announced the launch of its new brand, which will be implemented in phases and aims to “engage a broader audi- ence”. Aſter relocating from Golden Gate Park to the city’s Civic Center in 2003, the museum


Expansion planned for Bendigo Art Gallery


A planning application for a major AU$7.55m (£4.8m, €5.4m, US$7.7m) expan- sion of Bendigo Art Gallery in Victoria, Australia, has been submitted by the local authority. Te City of Greater Bendigo is proposing the con- struction of two new gallery spaces and a newly-enlarged entrance area, along with the provision of new storage and loading facilities. Melbourne-based architects


heavy. The ground begins to tremble. I swallow nervously. To my right, the foli- age moves, and a head, attached to an extremely long neck, swerves towards me. The mouth opens and the camarasau- raus bellows loudly. I can’t help but jump, much to the amusement of the group of school children behind me. The camara- sauraus eyes me for a moment before turning its attention to the lush plant life that forms its habitat. The children giggle and move on, eager to see the next ani- matronic dinosaur, but I remain, transfi xed by the creature before me. Clearly it’s not real, but animatronic wizardry is such that I can’t help but be blown away by how lifelike the dinosaur seems. And by how scientists can possibly know so much about these extinct creatures. I struggle to fi nd out what my daughter does at school each day, so for people to glean facts about what happened 65.5 million years ago is staggering. My admiration continues as I visit the


Fender Katsalidis are behind the designs for the scheme, which is expected to commence in mid-2012 and forms part of the authority’s View Street Arts Precinct Master Plan. Te state government of Victoria has con-


tributed a total of AU$3.775m (£2.4m, €2.7m, US$3.8m) in grants towards the expansion


other animatronic dinosaurs, each in a themed area, mirroring what would have been their natural habitat. The big fi nish is a gigantic tarbosaurus (T-rex’s cousin) roaring above an oviraptor, which valiantly tries to protect its eggs. The attention to detail is superb and the way the dinosaurs move is stunning. Although a family attrac-


AM 4 2011 AM 3 2011 ©cy cybertrek 2011 k 2


of the exhibition though. It also offers an easy to understand timeline of life on our planet dating from 250 million years ago to the present day. Specimens include a 140 million-year-old turtle shell and a ste- gosaur’s tail spike dating back 151 million years. A pile of fossilised dinosaur faeces, from which prehistoric leaves have been extracted, is another highlight, which is bound to be popular with children. The exhibition also showcases fossils of dinosaurs, plants and water reptiles with as little, or as much, information available as you’re interested in reading. Many of the exhibits are hands-on. One


that was proving particularly popular with the school group was a computerised scrapbook that you create by collecting games, virtual specimens and dino facts. By scanning the barcode on your ticket, the information is stored and can be viewed online at home. Unable to get near the gadgets, I was


content to touch the life-size cast of a T-rex’s footprint and discover that my hand is the size of just one of its claws. At the end of the exhibit, visitors are


Te expansion has been designed by architects Fender Katsalidis


project, alongside funding from the council and philanthropic sources. City of Greater Bendigo mayor Rod Fyffe


said: “Tis project will greatly improve the gallery and its capacity to host international blockbuster exhibitions well into the future.”


reminded that humans have only been around for 100,000 years, and asks what we think the dominant species will be in another 65 million years. Luckily the museum shop was the next stop, so I was able to absorb myself in the merchandise before my head started hurting from pon- dering the answer to that question. ●


Planning and Design Consulting The Natural History Museum Cromwell Road London SW7 5BD


Tel: +44 (0) 20 7942 5767 Email: A.Sanders@nhm.ac.uk


www.nhm.ac.uk/planning-design Animatronics


Designed, developed and created from your imagination especially for: • theme Parks • attractions • aquariums • science Centres • museums • zoos


Planning and Design Consulting


Working with clients to plan and create exhibitions and attractions


The timeline of life on our planet dates from 250 million years ago to the present day Te new gallery space will double the arts space at the visitor attraction A “green roof ” garden above adds insu-


tion, I’d be wary of bringing very young children, unless they’re particularly fear- less, as I suspect they could be terrifi ed – or perhaps that’s the appeal. The animatronics are just one element


lation, absorbs rainfall and provides a space to exhibit Californian native and other cli- mate-compatible plants in an ornamental, small-space garden. An intimate botanical garden of sculptural


plants will also connect the historic garage building with the extension.


Consulting services Our key services include:


• interpretive planning


will now shiſt its focus from presenting works to delivering experiences based on works. International consulting firm Wolff Olins has


worked with AAM to develop the new brand, which has also seen the adoption of a new logo to represent the “museum’s bold vision”.


• exhibit and gallery development • facilities assessment • feasibility studies


PHOTO: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM


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