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Melbourne Holocaust Museum

Melbourne Holocaust Museum


Elsternwick, VIC


Melbourne Holocaust Museum


DPPS Projects


Kerstin Thompson Architects

Contract Type

Design & Construct


Project value


Months to build




  • Restrictive Site Access
  • Design & Construct
  • Existing Structure Works
  • Façade Conservation Works
  • Bespoke Façade Design
  • Airtight Building Envelope
  • 2023 AIA National Award for Public Architecture

Engaged via a Design & Construct contract, we were tasked with the demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of a new four-storey museum plus basement level. The expansive museum offers three primary exhibitions; a permanent Holocaust museum, a dedicated children’s museum for younger visitors, and a gallery for temporary exhibitions. The centre also features two auditoriums for lectures, films and special events, a resource centre and library, enhanced learning areas for school students, and a powerful memorial room. At the rear of the building, the museum has also incorporated a contemplative garden that highlights the Pillars of Witness sculptures by Andrew Rogers and the Eternal Flame.

Encompassing a portion of the existing heritage building on the south-eastern corner, the new MHM is conceived in stark contrast to the bunker-like forms of many Holocaust museums previously built. The new portion of the bespoke Selwyn Street façade is variegated through a combination of clay and solid glass bricks. The hit-and-miss pattern created by the brickwork calibrates the façade according to light sensitivity and the activities inside the museum. Internally, the museum is washed in natural light and warm timbers, punctuated by views out to the Elsternwick surrounds. Clever reflective surfaces and glass curtain walls are also scattered throughout the five levels of the building, adding to the abundant natural lighting.

This redevelopment of the Melbourne Holocaust Museum has cemented its local and international reputation as a must-see museum and education experience.

“One of the highlights of the build was the bespoke glass brick facade. For this part of the build, as for the whole of the project, the McCorkell team were proactive in engaging with all stakeholders (design consultants, suppliers, subcontractors), anticipating issues, and facilitating collaborative solutions to achieve the design intent. The continued determination and professionalism of the McCorkell team was key to the successful delivery of this significant project, and we commend them for bringing KTA's design and the client's vision to fruition. It was clear from the outset that McCorkell takes pride and interest in delivering quality buildings which contribute to their community, and the Melbourne Holocaust Museum is no exception.”

Anne-Claire DevilleAssociate, Kerstin Thompson Architects


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