A New Outback Museum

An international architecture competition has officially been launched for The Outback Museum of Australia (OMOA) which will be located in Charleville, south-west Queensland. 

The competition brief describes the project as “not so much focusing on history and heritage, but rather on the present and future of the outback, as expressed by immersive and multi-sensory experience installations for the visitors” 
It should allow its “mysteries, natural environment and people” to be revealed.

Projects like this raise some interesting questions... I wonder, could an international architect meet this quintessentially Australian brief? Sure, having OMA design the building might mean more visitors, but will it be able to capture the essence of the outback?

What kind of architectural response do we want? Are the public after a building that treads lightly on the environment and emphasises what is naturally present? Or something monumental that feels contrasting and different? 

Will anything feel right, for a word – outback – that feels so iconic and meaningful in many diverse ways to Australians? How can the term ‘outback’ represent only one thing… or can the design work hard enough to represent many? 

What would you like to see this building look and feel like?