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Watt Space Gallery is the University of
Newcastle’s student art gallery. Born and
fought for by politically motivated arts
students over 25 years ago, the gallery has
grown and retained both its cultural and
regional significance. The gallery is used as an
educational resource for exhibiting, curating
and gallery administration, however the
expectations and environment aim to match
those of other professionally run galleries. In
2015 the gallery moved to a new location in
the heritage listed Northumberland House
in Newcastle’s CBD; a third iteration in the
gallery’s history.
Internal partitions and materials
unsympathetic to the original building were
removed, revealing original timber and
terrazzo flooring, a network of concrete ceiling
Watt Space Gallery
Andrew Donaldson
Architecture and Design
The Blacket Prize (established 1984) was introduced
specifically for buildings erected in country New South
Wales and was named for the 19th century architect
Edmund Blacket whose picturesque Gothic Revival style
churches can still be found in many country towns.
Practice team
Andrew Donaldson
Principal Architect
Scott Kirby
Graduate of Architecture
Consultant / Construction
Todd Bacon, Collaborative
Construction Solutions
Principal Builder
Cameron Beard
Quantity Surveyor
Robert McCallum
Hydraulic Engineer
Robert Boland
Mechanical Engineer
Courtney Hunt
Electrical Engineer
Mark Sturgess
Structural Engineer
Le Bateman
Project Manager
Selected by the 2016 Award Jury Chairs with support
from Sarah Aldridge (SPACEstudio/NSW Country Division
Committee), and Joel Chamberlain (dwp I suters/NSW
Newcastle Division Committee).
beams, and even original Newcastle Country
planning maps concealed in cavities. The
careful integration of new elements has been
artfully executed to highlight the features of
the building with honesty and integrity, and
the conscious decision to forego superfluous
floor and ceiling coverings has resulted in a
sustainable and elegant economy throughout.
The sensitive uncovering and reuse of these
lost structures and hidden spaces has renewed
a connection between Newcastle’s built
heritage and its forward looking art scene.
Photo: Rhys Holland