SANAA Wins Sydney Modern Project Competition

John Hill
27. May 2015
Image: Courtesy of Art Gallery of New South Wales

The Art Gallery of New South Wales has announced that the Japanese practice of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa will design an expansion that will double the museum's size.

The jury* unanimously selected SANAA's scheme from the five finalists in the two-stage competition. The other finalists were Kengo Kuma & Associates, Kerry Hill Architects, RMA Architects, and Sean Godsell Architects, but firms in the earlier shortlist included David Chipperfield Architects, Herzog & de Meuron, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

The Sydney Modern Project, consisting of new and expanded facilities in its home next to the Royal Botanic Gardens, is planned for completion in 2021, the 150th anniversary of the Art Gallery NSW. The project includes the new building by SANAA, a revitalization of the original, 19th century building, and a new plaza linked to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

According to Art Gallery NSW,

SANAA’s concept responds to the extraordinary beauty of the competition site with a series of pavilions that reach out to the Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens, as they cascade towards Sydney Harbour and Woolloomooloo.

The subtle profile of the pavilions complements and preserves the dignity of the existing Gallery building, creating spaces to bring people together and foster a sense of community, imagination and openness.

The concept looks towards the future, thinking about how audiences will experience art in Sydney as we transform the Gallery for the 21st century.

Image: Courtesy of Art Gallery of New South Wales
Image: Courtesy of Art Gallery of New South Wales

*Sydney Modern Project jury:

• Dr. Michael Brand, (Chair) Director, Art Gallery of New South Wales
• Ms. Kathryn Gustafson, landscape architect with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (Seattle) and Gustafson Porter (London)
• Mr. Michael Lynch CBE AM, CEO West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong
• Professor Toshiko Mori, Robert P Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture Harvard University Graduate School of Design
• Professor Glenn Murcutt AO, Australian architect and recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2002
• Professor Juhani Pallasmaa Helsinki-based architect, professor emeritus and widely published writer
• Ms. Hetti Perkins, member of the Eastern Arrernte and Kalkadoon Aboriginal communities and curator, filmmaker and author

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