Green light for ARM’s Sunshine Coast Regional Gallery vision

The Sunshine Coast Council has unanimously endorsed the detailed business case for a new Sunshine Coast Regional Gallery in Caloundra, Queensland, during a general meeting last month.

ARM Architecture developed the concept design for the business case, prepared by Savills and ARM, which envisions a place that not only celebrates art and culture, but also showcases the region’s natural beauty and vibrant outdoor lifestyle.

“The design concept draws inspiration from the Glasshouse Mountains, specifically their curious formation,” explains ARM’s Queensland lead Aaron Poupard.

“Like the mountains, the gallery’s design incorporates the idea of erosion, with void spaces created around the building’s perimeter, reminiscent of the imprint left behind by eroding material. These spaces serve as the entrance and verandah areas of the building.”

The brief calls for a gallery that can host national touring exhibitions of significance while adopting contemporary, adaptable, and sustainable museum practices. It must also provide space for creating and displaying community art, with a specific emphasis on the art and craftsmanship of the Traditional Owners.

The Gallery will be functional and inclusive, welcoming all visitors, even with sandy feet from the beach. It will represent the local community, with a particular focus on celebrating the region’s First Nations people and their connection to Country.

Retail areas will activate the edges of the building, offering locally made art and design products, while a ground-floor café will extend out into the public realm and link to a new town square. Inside, a generous foyer can be used for hosting events and functions.

The Sunshine Coast Regional Gallery is a key component of the Caloundra Community and Creative Hub, a proposed public space that connects the events centre, new district library, the proposed gallery, town square, and Bulcock Beach – creating a connected cultural precinct that will form the new heart of Caloundra and the Sunshine Coast. These project are being developed in tandem with the Sunshine Coast Regional Gallery project.

The business case will now be used as the foundation document to develop a funding strategy and advance conceptual designs.