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A Rammed Earth Building to Honour the Heysens in Australia

The Heysen gallery designed by Snøhetta located at Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills pays homage to one of Australia’s most significant artist families. The design shows a deep connect to the past through its relation and its link to the surrounding landscape.

It is at Hahndorf, Adelaide Hills that Hans Heysen first created his studio and family home, ‘The Cedars’, which has become Australia’s most significant artistic treasures. The new design for the Heysen art gallery by Snøhetta will include a purpose-built gallery, art storage facility retail outlet, and restaurant. By incorporating the surrounding landscape, the design will allow for a reinvigorated and immersive reading of the work of renowned artists Hans Heysen, and daughter Nora Heysen.

The location of the Cedars and the Hans Heysen Gallery.

“Hans Heysen had a deep affection for, and played an active role in the conservation and protection of, the Australian landscape that he so passionately portrayed in his artwork,” says Snøhetta’s partner and Managing Director Australasia, Kaare Krokene. “In turn, the building will honour and protect the Heysens’ artwork and family story”.

The new experience of ‘The Cedars’ cherishes a deep connection to the past, whilst revealing innovative and evocative experiences of the landscape. The galleries leading wall constructed from rammed earth will seemingly grow from this landscape, leading you into the building and the gallery space. Energy-saving design is paramount, whilst expansive glazing brings in scenic vistas. Strong timber-themed and crafted interior furnishings feature throughout the building, reflecting the surrounding gum trees – a central motif of Hans Heysen’s compositions.

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“The design is confident, authentic, and grounded in the character of the Heysen family” Krokene states.

The rammed earth proposal seemingly grows from the surrounding landscape, whilst expansive glazing brings in scenic vistas. The gallery’s leading wall appears to grow from the verdant surrounding landscape as it leads visitors into the building and the gallery space. Strong timber-themed and crafted interior furnishings feature throughout the building, reflecting the surrounding gum trees – a central motif of Hans Heysen’s compositions.

The Cedars was purchased by Hans Heysen in 1912, and he lived there with his wife Sallie, and their family of eight children. This is where some 200 original works of art can be seen in changing displays in the studios and the house.

 

The $9 million gallery is funded under the Adelaide City Deal, a 10-year partnership between the Australian and South Australian governments and the City of Adelaide.

Snøhetta is currently working on a wide range of international projects, including the Ordrupgaard Art Museum expansion in Denmark, the Cornell University Executive Education Center and Hotel in New York City, and the Shanghai Grand Opera House.

Project: The Heysen gallery

Architect: Snøhetta

Project Location: Hahndorf, Adelaide Hills, South Australia