Sculpted around the significant architectural language of TarraWarra Museum of Art, Fiona Lynch’s reimagining of the gallery foyer gives definition to the expansive multi-use space, while positioning the retail experience as a thoughtfully curated showcase of art and objects.
Fiona Lynch worked closely with local artisans who straddle the line between art and design, creating bespoke displays that embody the adventurous and inventive spirit of TarraWarra, enticing visitors to discover the collection of art books, Australian made objet d’art and jewellery.
Conceived as a spatial insertion, the design respectfully works with the original architectural intent, maintaining sightlines and introducing a complementary palette of tactile finishes including Victorian bluestone, hand-worked linished metal, charred timber and amber resin. The articulation of form and strategic placement of joinery carves new paths of circulation in the cavernous space, making sense of the previously isolated reception bench.
The architecture is thickened by deep joinery that envelopes the space, giving solidity and structure to the perimeter while fragile serpentine forms disrupt this spatial logic, introducing a contemporary intervention to catch, lead and hold visitors passing through the lobby. Fine, folded steel shelving, spindled tables and finely-executed jewellery display cases are presented with a sense of care and conviction, while dramatic lighting draws focus to key architectural moments enabled by the floor plan.
Key to the lobby concept was the desire to include local artisans who straddle the line between art and design. Daniel Barbera, Makiko Ryujin and Josh Carmody deployed this vision, producing bespoke components for Fiona Lynch including the execution of linished metal shelving, charred timber displays and the provision of a jaunty, creature-like leg system for the tables, instrumental in the flexibility of the space. These bespoke pieces are thoughtfully scaled to give an approachable quality, facilitating casual, non-hierarchical exchanges between staff and visitors.
Experimental and expressive, the design is highly attuned to the greater fabric of TarraWarra, respecting the dignity and reverence of the place by allowing the character of the artworks, architecture and landscape to sing. In line with the strength of TarraWarra’s ethos, Fiona Lynch has given life to its retail offer without corporatising its space.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns