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Plans for Boyd's revamped Bundanon unveiled

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Staff writer

Designs for new facilities at Arthur Boyd's iconic Riversdale property have been released by Bundanon Trust.
Plans for Boyd's revamped Bundanon unveiled

Artist's render of The Bridge over the Gully, which contains some of the visitor facilities including workshops and accommodation suites. Image: Kerstin Thompson Architects for Bundanon Trust

Kerstin Thompson Architects have designed a world-class creative learning centre for school students, a contemporary visitor hub, accommodation and a 380m2 light-filled contemporary art gallery – partially buried into the landscape – that will house Bundanon Trust’s $37.5 million Arthur Boyd art collection. 


Gifted to the Australian people in 1993 by Arthur and Yvonne Boyd, the Bundanon property (which includes the Bundanon Homestead site and the Riversdale site) is located on 1,100 hectares of pristine bush land overlooking the Shoalhaven River, near Nowra in New South Wales, two and a half hours south of Sydney.

The new facilities are housed within a new 140-metre-long by 9-metre-wide structure that at one end abuts the art gallery within the sloping hillside, continuing along to bridge an existing gully.

Image Credit Kerstin Thompson Architects

Architect Kerstin Thompson explained: ‘The design concept both preserves and transforms; is equal parts subtle and dramatic. Renown aspects of the current setting are maintained and their presence enhanced with an array of new and compelling visitor experiences.’

The new subterranean contemporary art gallery will house over 3,800 items featuring more than 1,300 artworks by Arthur Boyd, plus works by leading Australian artists including Boyd peers Sidney Nolan, Charles Blackman, Brett Whiteley and John Perceval. It will also show contemporary works drawn from participants in the Trust’s artist in residence program.

The design incorporates a new creative art facility housing 32 new bedrooms, teaching spaces, dining and visitor facilities on top of rolling hills and a deep gully.

Architect's impression of Bundanon Gully and Stepped Arrival Terraces; Image Credit Kerstin Thompson Architects

Architect's impression of Bundanon Arrival Hall; Image Credit Kerstin Thompson Architects

It also reinforces the significance of the existing cluster of buildings, including the original houses, art studio and the contemporary Boyd Education Centre designed by acclaimed Australian architects Glenn Murcutt, Wendy Lewin and Reg Lark, which remain at the heart of the experience of the site.

The existing and new buildings are united by a common forecourt that is the culmination of the stepped arrival terraces, which also make fully accessible the site’s considerable level changes.

Architect's impression of Bundanon Learning Terrace; Image Credit Kerstin Thompson Architects

The stunning native environment of the Shoalhaven is honoured in the sustainability credentials of the building design. Bundanon Trust CEO Deborah Ely said: ‘Underpinning the design is an ecological approach which is aiming for the highest level of sustainability certification, with solar energy, waste management systems and all supporting infrastructure representing an opportunity to show world leadership in its benchmarked environmental credentials.”

Polly Boyd, daughter of Arthur and Yvonne Boyd added: 'Mum and Dad would love the plans for Riversdale and the way it relates the landscape and considers the climate. They would be delighted with all the activity and the way Bundanon is being cared for and shared.'

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