Once the administration offices of the Maritime Services Board, this waterside museum was overhauled head to toe (well, almost) in 2011 and re-opened in March 2012 with light, airy, uncluttered interiors, more floor space and a boxy new facade. It's not just good looks, either: the rooftop café and sculpture terrace, high-tech education centre, and 120-seat lecture theatrette and forecourt are all worth checking out.
And the original sandstone heart is still there. “We wanted to keep the old building but provide something next to it that says immediately that this is a contemporary building,” says MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE.
Inside, the galleries themselves are clean, logical and open – with long vistas to entice and draw you in further. While the design of the exterior is about drawing attention, the opposite is the case for the interior. “The most important thing is the art,” says architect Sam Marshall. “In the perfect gallery there would be no architecture visible. For most of the MCA’s exhibitions they install walls, change colours and put different surfaces in. That requires a really simple space with a really simple circulation system.”
|Venue name:||Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)|
140 George St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun 10am-5pm; Wed 10am-9pm|
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Melbourne-based artist Phuong Ngo used to visit his GP before embarking on one of his ten day performances. He’s choosing not to this time around, after his doctor advised against the entire project. Why might a medical professional be so concerned?...Installation Until Wednesday January 23 2019 Free
Australia's major galleries always draw in their biggest audiences with blockbuster exhibitions of artworks brought in from across the world. But many of them have extraordinary artworks hidden away in their own collections, and regularly curate those...Until Sunday February 3 2019 Free
David Goldblatt: Photographs 1948–2018
The Museum of Contemporary Art has closed the doors on one of its most successful exhibitions ever, Pipilotti Rist: Sip My Ocean. The blockbuster show, featuring large-scale light, video works and installations, was a veritable explosion of colour and...Photography Until Sunday March 3 2019
MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday
The MCA's collection hang is where you go to get an overview of Australian contemporary art – and it's less daunting than it sounds. The last time they curated the hang was in 2012 (MCA Collection: Volume One), for the launch of the re-designed building,...Galleries Until Sunday March 29 2020 Free
Every year, the Museum of Contemporary Art invites an artist or curator to take the reins of its Primavera exhibition, a showcase for artists under 35. Beyond this, the format is flexible – how many artists and works one wants to program, and whether...Galleries Until Sunday February 3 2019 Free