Tangentyere Design

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Tangentyere Design
3/39 Hartley Street ALICE SPRINGS NT 0870 Australia

Tangentyere Design is an award winning architectural practice with a distinguished history of professional work in the Northern Territory. Since 1978 Tangentyere Design has been instrumental in the design and delivery of appropriate housing and community facilities for Aboriginal Australians throughout remote regions of the Central Desert. Projects have included childcare and cultural centres, housing and health facilities, art buildings, office accommodation, community and recreation facilities. Our work also extends to private commissions, where we have provided professional design and project management services to small private clients as well as to larger commercial concerns.

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Kiwirrkurra Art Centre - Tangentyere DesignKiwirrkurra Art Centre - Tangentyere DesignKiwirrkurra Art Centre - Tangentyere DesignKiwirrkurra Art Centre - Tangentyere Design

Kiwirrkurra Art Centre

Kiwirrkurra, WA, 2011

Kiwirrkurra is located in the remote Gibson Desert in Western Australia, a traditional homeland for the Pintubi people. Artists living in the community are part of a thriving Western Desert art movement and integral to the success of the Papunya Tula Artists cooperative. The building is moulded from a worn and disused brick storeroom, offering space for artists to meet and paint, and for curators to prepare and catalogue works for sale through their Alice Springs gallery. A brightly coloured blade wall references the town’s civic axis, and divides the veranda into smaller courtyard spaces, allowing shelter and access to the sun at different times of day and year. The existing roof was replaced with a ‘butterfly’ form: raised and extended to mark the importance of art in the community’s cultural and economic livelihood. Internal plywood ceiling panels warmly wash a glare-free and even southern light across the painting areas below. The building’s colours are drawn from those found in the artists’ paintings, with a respectful nod towards the palette of the surrounding sand hill country.


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