RBA developed a master plan for the museum that explored passive strategies to avoid the installation of high-impact mechanical air conditioning. Materials conservation advice had indicated that a mechanical air-handling system would have a highly detrimental effect on the fragile artefacts within the museum, including string instruments designed and built by Percy Grainger.

We proposed a new subterranean wing to accommodate administration offices and a storage facility, so as to maintain a separation from the sensitive exhibition environment. We also prepared a Conservation Management Plan to provide general guidance on managing future changes to the site.

Percy Grainger was among the most internationally famous Australian composers in the 1920s. Grainger designed the museum itself, in conjunction with architect John Gawler, and curated the original permanent exhibition.

The Grainger Museum is historically significant for its associations with its founder Percy Grainger. Australian born Grainger was an internationally acclaimed musician and composer, and an early contributor to the development of electronic music and experimental free music. The Grainger Museum is rare as an example of a purpose built autobiographical museum dedicated to the life and works of one person.

The Grainger Museum is architecturally significant as an intact 1930’s building exemplifying as eclectic approach drawing on a range of contemporary stylistic and theoretical approaches.

Source: Statement of Significance, Victorian Heritage Register listing, H0875