The Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney is undergoing a major overhaul as part of its Modern Sydney project, a 344 million Australian dollar ($246 million) expansion of the area overlooking the city’s famous harbour.
Touted as the ‘most significant’ cultural development since the Sydney Opera House began in 1973, the project includes a new building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architecture firm SANAA, with Australian firm Architectus as the executive architect, which will be connected to the existing building via a public art garden. Australian company Tonkin Zulaikha Greer is also involved in the project.
In addition to a complete redevelopment of the collection, the expanded museum will include a gallery dedicated to some of the 2,000 examples of historic and contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork. The presentation will be “accented by bold and compelling new art commissions that contribute to important global conversations of our time,” Director of Collections Maud Page said in a statement.
The museum’s footprint of approximately 30,000 square feet will be doubled with the expansion, which will feature column-free galleries with floor-to-ceiling windows to provide visitors with city views. Another highlight is a disused WWII naval oil tank that has been repurposed as a special commission location, similar to Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.
When the Sydney Modern Project is completed and open to the public on December 3, nine major commissions by international art stars will welcome visitors. The selected artists are Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Karla Dickens, Simryn Gill, Jonathan Jones, Yayoi Kusama, Lee Mingwei, Richard Lewer, Lisa Reihana and Francis Upritchard.
“All eyes will be on Sydney when our new building opens,” museum director Michael Brand said in a statement. “Our new art campus brings art, architecture and landscape together in spectacular and unprecedented ways. It really is the world seen from Sydney.
See model images below.
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