60 years after construction, the MCA building embraces the contemporary!

Posted by barbara on March 24, 2012

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Four days before the opening of the new 'wing' of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the wraps have come off and the press have been let in for a preview.

According to the director, the new wing provides ideal viewing spaces for exhibitions and takes advantage of the superlative harbour views.

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While I am warming to the extended front of the building, facing onto Circular Quay, I am less convinced by the refurbished exterior that fronts onto George Street North, as pictured above.

Why? In my humble opinion, the bold 'clip-on'-like exterior visually eclipses and coralls the original building. How so? Check out the image below taken from George Street North.

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The new and the old. For the MCA, the all-important amenity, as in new exhibition spaces and venues for hire, make good sense.

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Six days before the opening of the new look extended MCA - akka Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art - the wraps are coming off and last minute touches applied to architect Sam Marshall's 'rubics cube' exterior.

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What are outsiders to think as the historic headquarters of the Maritime Services Board (MSB) - constructed in 1952 and quitted in 1989 - are expanded to house the MCA's collections and services?

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With their stand out colour schemes of white-ish and shades of black/charcoal/dark brown, the weddings parties anything roof top venue and northern extension of the MCA look nothing like the 1952 art deco MSB sandstone clad building.

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For those in the know, this is a deliberate ploy, designed to delineate the original and the added into the future, as in make a statement.

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And why not make a statement that says, regardless that MCA's collections are housed in a 1952 vintage, let's emphasise its contemporary focus by adding on a contemporary extension that at the very least echoes the shape of the MSB building.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is now styling itself as the MCA Australia, a thank you to an injection of Federal funding.

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