Studio 39

The Next Museum ... A Menagerie

Wojciech Pluta, Neal Kaldor, and Alison Pedder

This studio is available to students enrolled in ABPL90142 Studio C, ABPL90143 Studio D, and ABPL90115 Studio E.

Studio Description

The past two years have limited our physical access to public cultural spaces, an absence that has served to further highlight the influence these types of institutions have on the organism of the city, our connection to it, and to one another.

This has not only crystalized the significance of cultural assembly, but also revealed the fragility of current institutional models and the value of their reimagining.

During our recent time of absence, the practice marked the 20th anniversary of the iconic Melbourne Museum, and our newest contribution to Victoria’s civic and physical landscape The Shepperton Art Museum, celebrated both its unofficial virtual opening and official public opening in 2021.

In the two decades which span these projects, the role and organization of the museum shifted only slightly in comparison to the new chapter of innovation and repositioning the industry is about to embark upon. Thus we find ourselves on the threshold of demand for a new kind of Museum, a repositioning that better embraces a strange or diverse collection of people or things.  A reemergence of the Menagerie.

Studio Outcomes

This studio will begin its enquiry establishing the role of architecture in framing how these shifts might begin take place, and from where. Learnings from Denton Corker Marshall’s Melbourne Museum, Shepperton Art Museum, Stonehenge Exhibition + Visitor Centre and the Australian Pavilion, Venice will serve as principal case studies to launch this departure.

Students will be asked to distinguish between the physical and virtual parameters of these cultural spaces, and position an architectural response within the context of the sites beyond their primary locations. Critical design research undertaken at the beginning of the semester forms the project brief resulting in an articulated, resolved architectural proposition that, whilst remaining somewhat devoted to its familiar roles and function, proposes strategies for a new and versatile museum model.

Discussions will define and exercise the role of the architect in cultural engagement and representation, and students will have the opportunity to workshop their projects with DCM practitioners experienced in collaboration with museum stakeholders, curators, educators, and facility managers.

Studio Leaders

Wojciech Pluta has outstanding knowledge of all aspects of building projects in metropolitan and regional Australia acquired through training and over 30+ years’ professional experience, undertaking leading roles on projects in the commercial, residential, health and education sectors. Since joining Denton Corker Marshall in 1997, Wojciech has been involved in a wide range of work, from individual residences to the coordination of multi-million dollar commercial developments.

Alison Pedder joined Denton Corker Marshall in 2015. With qualifications in interior design and architecture, she has studied at Monash University, The Victorian College of the Arts and the Dessau Institute of Architecture – DIA BAUHAUS. She has taught at both the DIA BAUHAUS and the University of Melbourne (Design Studio Beta). She has worked as an architect in both Germany and Australia and has also designed productions for several Performing Arts Companies and Australian Festivals. Alison is currently working on the Melbourne University Fisherman’s Bend Campus Stage 01.

Neal Kaldor joined Denton Corker Marshall in 2017 having completed his Bachelor of Architecture at RMIT and then undertook his Master of Architecture at RMIT. He has been involved in the DCM Studio as a guest critique for the last 3 years, alongside similar roles in the MSD Beta Studios Semester 2 2021. Amongst his responsibilities in practice, Neal has led the Work Experience Program. In 2019, he was a Highly Commended Finalist in the Premier’s Design Awards, Student Design Category

Schedule Mondays and Thursdays 18:15-21:15
Off-campus Activities Saturday 6 August, $15

Contact Handbook

Need enrolment assistance?

Stop 1 provides enrolment and other support to Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Environments and Melbourne School of Design students.