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MONA’s HOMO gets mixed reaction

By   /  July 11, 2017  /  Comments Off on MONA’s HOMO gets mixed reaction

Whatever gambler David Walsh does is bound to cause a degree of controversy and the release of his latest plans for a new hotel at Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) are no exception.

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$300m plans for new hotel and theatre at MONA modelled after Golden Gate Bridge

The proposed design of the 172-room, 5-star hotel HOMO (an acronym of HOtel Mona), has already stirred up public reaction even though it has yet to be approved by Glenorchy city council.

New design for $300m hotel and theatre at MONA.

The $300 million development which also includes pans for a theatre and library elicited online responses such as “Is that a shopping trolley!” and “What an atrocious looking piece of crap”.

Walsh, who has always seemed to revel in provocation, took it on the chin.

Plans for new library at $300m HOMO.

“I liked building a museum that was in a sense critical of the museum industry… a piece of commentary,” he said. “Now I am what I used to criticise. I didn’t see it coming.

“In all honesty, I would rather not do this sort of thing… I’ve now moved into a world that I don’t understand, and that’s the nature of risk and innovation, I hope… for example, I’ve been told not to say things, and now I don’t say them. That used to not happen.”

HOMO will also focus on the business and conference markets with new function and conference spaces.

Design for playground at HOMO.

The design by Fender Katsalidis Architects is modelled after and painted the colour of the Golden Gate bridge, with a new 1075-seat theatre at its base.

“You can’t usually build a theatre inside a building because when it shakes, the whole building shakes,” Walsh said. “But because this is a bridge, the top seven floors are suspended from above, and the bottom three floors are built from below. They’re not connected to each other – there’s no [noise] transmission. It’s the best idea anyone ever had. And it wasn’t mine!”

If all goes to plan HOMO will open on MONA’s 11th anniversary in January 2022.

Walsh also announced the museum’s summer festival, Mona Foma, will relocate north to Launceston.

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