ANZ Centre Gallery

A Portal of Art and Escape

Docklands, Melbourne
Workplace / Exhibition
Willem-Dirk Du Toit

Shortlisted, IDEA Awards 2023, Workplace under 1000sqm

Following on from the success of the award-winning ANZ Open House, Foolscap Studio presents the ANZ Gallery Space. Housed on Level 10 of ANZ Docklands in Melbourne, the Gallery space is designed to feel a little bit magical, a portal transporting visitors into a world away from the workplace – a calming space presenting a previously less visible art collection, as a showcase within the ANZ Open House suite of amenities and work-meets-culture experiences.

The space was strategically conceived as a way for ANZ to bring its people, clients, collaborators and community together to celebrate its expansive collection of Australian and international art. Here, works are brought out of the archive and showcased on regular rotation.

Transporting the visitor

Visitors enter the gallery via a timber portal – a subtle experiential shift that separates the Gallery Space from its neighbouring Open House. The reception desk is consciously constructed from repurposed travertine from the demolition of the previous interior scheme.

The ‘portals’ effectively transform a series of spaces, previously underutilised as back of house for mechanical services, into a living, breathing gallery space. Meanwhile, within the gallery, restrained application of materials soften elements such as structural columns and concrete behind a mesh soffit, to bring a subtle texture and a tactile dimension instead of a traditional white box, with gallery walls as independent structures to the basebuild. Meanwhile gallery lighting sits on suspended tracks, making it highly movable and adaptable to the frequent curation of exhibitions and events.

Windows into another world

Overscaled timber window seats offer moments of rest and respite from the art (and work), punctured through the atrium facade to reveal the massive building void beyond. Foolscap overcame complex structural and architectural challenges to carve these portals through the existing fabric of the building, to connect back to the high energy and activity within the atrium and active work floors below.

Foolscap Studio were entrusted with defining a fine balance between articulating a gallery space that is separate to, but enclosed within, a campus headquarters. The space is a spatial and functional framework to present a diverse collection of art worth building a gallery for, while not prescribed by any specific works, it acts as a connector to artists, gallerists and curators from further afield.

An unexpected yet cleverly inserted addition to the ANZ Docklands campus, the purpose-built gallery is a counterpoint to executive, board, client and staff activity across the ‘Open House’ multi-program masterplan designed by Foolscap Studio, with experience strategy by Relative Projects. The project successfully mediates work, social, hospitality and gallery as a canvas for diverse experiences and interactions between ANZ, clients and their community.

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Indesign Live

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