Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Don Harwin, has announced that the highly-anticipated $344 million Sydney Modern expansion of the Art Gallery of New South Wales has received planning approval.
The Art Gallery’s new building, designed by world-renowned Japanese architecture firm SANAA, responds to its unique site with a series of interlocked pavilions that cascade towards the Sydney Harbour and Woolloomooloo, complementing and preserving its heritage significance.
The building’s exhibition space is set to nearly double, enabling the Gallery to show more of its outstanding art collection and host more international exhibitions.
Minister Harwin said that this approval paves the way for the Art Gallery of NSW to become one of the world’s great art museums increasing visitation to an expected two million people a year.
“Community feedback has played a vital role in finalising this remarkable project, and I congratulate everyone involved in the community consultation process that got us to where we are today – a green light for the Sydney Modern Project,” he said.
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has also awarded the project a 6-star Green Star design rating – the only art museum to achieve this in Australia.
Since 2015, the art gallery has worked alongside SANAA to maximise open space across the site as well as integrate the well-known building with the landscape and enhancing sustainability initiatives such as rainwater harvesting, solar panels and a seawater heat exchange system for air-conditioning.
GBCA CEO, Romilly Madew, congratulated the Art Gallery of NSW for its outstanding achievement, which reflects its commitment to creating and supporting sustainable communities.
“This vibrant space will set a new standard for what cultural precincts can and should be – engaging, innovative and sustainable,” Ms Madew said.
Construction is expected to commence in early 2019 and aims to be completed in time for the Gallery’s 150th anniversary in 2021. The Gallery, which provides free admission, will remain open during this time.
More information on the project can be found here.