Albury’s historic pump house in Waterworks Road will be transformed into a mecca for artists and creators.
Situated just 70 metres from the Murray River on Boundary Road, the PumpHouse was originally built in 1884 to facilitate water supply to the region. After further extensions were completed in 1915, it also supplied electricity, which continued until bulk supply from the State Electricity Commission was established in 1926. It is a classic example of late 19th century industrial architecture, and remnants of its history as a functioning pumping station are still present to this day.
The PumpHouse Project will see the transformation of this historic and disused piece of infrastructure into a vibrant creative facility. It will provide access to professional equipment and studio spaces for artists to not only create work but to connect and innovate.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it provides an important opportunity to bolster the region’s creative industries. The PumpHouse will increase the entrepreneurial capacity of local creatives, reducing production/manufacturing costs through a co-working model, and provide a subsequent increase in employment options for regionally based artists. It will also provide opportunities for real-world experience to young emerging artists and potentially school groups. A suite of educational programs will be developed, catering for amateur and professional artists through master class offerings.
With a current floor area of 280m2, the space will be extended by an additional 55m2 to allow for office space, a lunch room and toilet facilities.
Equipped with the tools and machinery required across three mediums, currently identified as – ceramics, fibre art, and fine arts – this space will become a mecca for artists and makers who are keen to collaborate and learn new creative skills.
The establishment of a well-equipped maker space will:
The PumpHouse Maker Space project is one project of three components funded by the Regional Cultural Fund. The Loves Residence (renamed ‘GreenHouse: National Artist Residency’) and the Curator’s Cottage renovation projects were complete in 2021. The total grant allocated to the project is $1.3 million.
The original concept of a maker space, and subsequent funding application, was focused on the creation of a well-equipped space for makers of artisan products to utilise in the creation of their work.
This project was designed to increase entrepreneurial capacity of local creatives, reducing production/manufacturing costs through a co-working model, and provide a subsequent increase in employment options for regionally based artists and the opportunities for real-world experience to young emerging artists.
As this project progressed into the design phase, it became clear that the heritage-listed PumpHouse building required significant remediation and rectification works to bring it to a habitable standard. These works are reflected in the adopted budget for 2022/23. The funding allocation will allow for the remediation and rectification works.
The project has suffered schedule delays related to the remediation and rectification works, however detailed design was complete in July 2022 and the tender for construction awarded in September 2022.
The works are set to commence in October 2022 with an anticipated completion date of mid-2023.