The late David Roche was an internationally renowned collector of antiques and fine art who often referred to himself as simply an ‘enthusiastic buff’. He was made very welcome by antique merchants around the world and spent his life acquiring what he considered essential items to fill a space that he had in mind within his home. Following his death in 2013, the Roche Foundation elected to create a gallery on the site of David’s home on Melbourne Street North Adelaide, to share his impressive collection with the public, as per his wish.

Project Detail

Attention to detail was essential to ensure the gallery buildings sat comfortably within their natural surroundings and existing architecture, while creating a warm and inviting feel with modern, sustainable finishes that will age well.

Every element of the Roche Foundation Art Gallery construction process was carefully overseen by Kennett Builders to ensure the highest level of craftsmanship was delivered.

Construction Detail

Minimalist steel-fabricated framed full-height windows and doors

Integrating antique timber double door leaves, substantial stone statues and other works of art into the building

‘Salt and pepper’ finished polished concrete floors

Wet and hot weather led to 34 days of delays

Naturally lit gallery featuring skylight sun tube ceiling slots

Bespoke linear air conditioning slotted ceiling apertures

Secret panel door system to the rear paneled wall of Gallery No.1 leading out to the rear storage area


Careful excavation of gardens and grounds to avoid the burial sites of David’s pets

Moving and setting-out great works of art

Innovative removal and transport to release the old external garden statues and reposition them inside the gallery’s Roman Room

Mixing modern and traditional construction methods to bring together the gallery’s various elements, materials and styles (a combination not normally seen in current construction projects).


The David Roche Foundation Art Gallery demonstrates our passion to deliver an architecturally detailed project to the express wishes of the client. The relationship between The David Roche Foundation and Kennett Builders is extremely strong and we consider it a great pleasure to work on a project of this nature.


Scott Kennett – Construction Manager

Phil Hole – Estimator

Duncan Forbes White – Project Manager

Michael Agresta – Site Manager

Matt Dickson – HSE Officer