ACMI Raises Curtain on $40m Redevelopment


Australia’s national museum of screen culture, ACMI, has revealed digital plans as part of its $40 million redevelopment in Melbourne’s Federation Square.

After closing in May last year for construction works, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image is set to reopen in 2021.

While construction continues on ACMI's physical site, ACMI director and chief executive Katrina Sedgwick says online the museum has reopened.

The revamp includes the inclusion of a multi-platform model, which it says will transport visitors beyond the venue’s central Melbourne location. Sedgwick says the museum’s digital infrastructure will see it become one of the world’s “most digitally transformed museums.”

While conceptualised in 2015, before the pandemic, Sedgwick said Covid had reinforced ACMI’s new tech-focused approach.

“Covid-19 may have slowed the physical transformation of our museum, but it also presented an opportunity to accelerate our digital expansion.

“In the same way we curate and design exhibitions and programs for the physical museum, we have been developing them specifically for online across the breadth of screen culture—film, TV, video games and art,” she said.

Sedgwick says that people can engage with the museum in new ways, at home, on their devices and at the museum itself.

“We often consume the same stories via different platforms; we might read the comic book then watch the film adaptation and later play the video game. Each platform brings out something new in the story.

“We have taken this concept of multi-platform storytelling and applied it to our museum.”

▲ Plans show the ACMI revamp include a Foley Room and film digitisation space. Image: Second Story
▲ Plans show a Foley Room and film digitisation space as part of ACMI's new revamp. Image: Second Story

Historic Parramatta house makes way for Powerhouse museum

Further north, the construction of the $767 million Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta is one step closer after the New South Wales government announced its decision to relocate heritage-listed house, Willow Grove, to a new location in Parramatta North.

Construction of the new Parramatta museum had stalled following protests about the controversial demolition of the 140-year-old, two-storey villa, located on Phillip Street.

The state government reversed its decision to close the existing Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo in July, deciding to have two sites for the museum, including the new Parramatta development.

Powerhouse Parramatta is being designed by French architecture practice Moreau Kusunoki and Australia’s Genton.

▲Plans for Powerhouse Parramatta.
▲Plans for Powerhouse Parramatta.

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