Master Builder of the Year | National 2016, 2019 | Victoria 2016, 2017, 2019
PROJECTS | Victoria

Koorie Heritage Trust Relocation






Koorie Heritage Trust of Victoria


Waterman AHW

Kane were appointed in March 2015 as Head Contractor for the $2 million Lump Sum fitout of levels 1 and 3 of the Yarra Building to create a space for the Koorie Heritage Trust to house their collection of artifacts.

Originally housed at the Museum of Victoria, the Trust has grown from a small community organisation into a cultural icon for both Koorie and non-Koorie communities.

The project involved creating new accommodation for the Trust in the Yarra Building at Federation Square, including level 1 gallery spaces, together with accommodation and the collections on level 3. The Trust relocation to Federation Square is highly significant for a number of reasons. Symbolically the Trust (and indigenous culture) is moving from the 'margins' to the 'centre' of the city.

Operationally it is also significant with a location that allows the Trust to extend its connections to community, to create and participate in events and increase visitations to the Trusts activities.

Level 1 is an adaption of the existing gallery space combined with new retail areas. This allows the Trust to make, display and sell artwork and other items in a high profile location at the centre of the city.

Minor works have been completed on level 2, which is the lobby space connecting the stair and escalator rises from level 1 to level 3.

Level 3 of the Yarra Building accommodates the key operational rooms/areas of the Trust. This includes spaces for approximately 20 staff, a range of community meeting and lounge spaces and the cultural collection itself.

A key aspiration of the project is to make the collection (which includes both historical and contemporary items), far more visible and accessible to both the Koorie and non - Koorie communities. To meet this aspiration, there is a collection storage space (incorporating a compactus) combined with an arrangement of secure display shelves and drawers.

A central 'making table' allows the Trust to undertake community events around various aspects of the collection. This table is in the form of a canoe, making reference to the community's traditional association with the Yarra (Birrarung) River immediately adjacent to the Yarra Building.

The collection itself is required to be stored in 'museum grade' conditions, therefore the new systems and fire systems reflect this specific requirement.

The project reached practical completion in July 2015.