The groundbreaking was held this week for the New Museum for Western Australia.
Premier Mark McGowan and culture and the arts minister David Templeman turned the first sod of soil at the site of the new museum, ahead of demolition works to the non-heritage parts of the existing buildings.
The design developed by Multiplex’s design team, Hassell & Oma, combines contemporary and heritage architecture. The exisiting museum has been closed while its replacement is built, though some exhibits are on display elsewhere in the city.
Among features to be removed is the huge glass wall of the former foyer. The glass foyer, which is not heritage-listed, was added to the WA Museum in 1999 to link the Hackett Hall and Jubilee buildings. These two heritage buildings will now be linked by a contemporary elevated insertion on the first floor level to create one of four new accessible entrances into the heart of the New Museum.
McGowan said: "The development of a world-class destination that provides excellent visitor experiences and learning opportunities for children and adults will be a great resource for all Western Australians, particularly families. Importantly it is expected to create 3,300 jobs during the construction phase, 1,800 being in the construction sector."
The heritage-listed buildings are being revitalised as part of the New Museum Project. The exteriors of all these buildings were restored in 2015 when the façades were cleaned, the brick and stone repointed and repaired, leadlight windows conserved and non-heritage render on the Old Gaol removed.
The New Museum is on schedule to open in 2020.