Text description provided by the architects. Arts Project Australia — a proud, strong, and unapologetic social enterprise — is central to contemporary art practice in Melbourne through providing art studios and services for artists with intellectual disabilities. This upgrade to its entrance and reception celebrates APA’s contribution to the arts by providing a warm hug to the artists upon entry.
Crossing over the threshold from the street, a sense of calm is instilled with a white and green palette. This tranquil feeling is extended through circular forms that spot behaviour by indicating pathways and seating places. Guidance is also provided through safety elements, such as the handrails, which are revered in bold green.
Not everything is deterministic in this space. Flexible furniture allows for different occupations (for classes, workshops, social gatherings, and events) while programmable LED lighting irradiates different moods, including if you are feeling blue, or pink. An art-box lintel above the front door also allows for a changing display for over 150 emerging, mid-career, and established artists that work in the studios.
A sense of belonging is integral to being part of civic life, and art has an important part to play in this process. The upgrade to APA in Northcote put art, and artists, upfront, and in doing so, contribute to the civic life of these artists and the high street of Northcote.