The Art Gallery of NSW's Massive $344 Million Expansion Has Been Given the Green Light

Kicking off in early 2019, the project includes a new building, a public art garden and a gallery made from a repurposed WWII oil tanker.
Samantha Teague and Libby Curran
November 21, 2018

The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) has been given the green light by the NSW Government to go ahead with its $344 million expansion, dubbed the Sydney Modern Project.

Kicking off in early 2019, the multimillion-dollar project is the gallery's bid to better compete with its interstate counterparts. While it was the country's most visited gallery in 2007, AGNSW has since dropped to fourth position behind Melbourne's NGV and ACMI and Queensland's GOMA. It's predicted this expansion will double the number of visitors to the Gallery.

The ambitious plans, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architecture and design practice, SANAA — who is also behind New York's New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Louvre's satellite museum in Lens — would double the current exhibition space, incorporating an entirely new building and an outdoor public art garden. The new building, set to cover 7,830 square metres, will include a gallery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and a contemporary art space created from an old WWII oil tank.

The expansion will also make the AGNSW Australia's first six-star Green Star rated public art museum, with the new building decked out with solar panels, rainwater tanks and an energy efficient method of air conditioning.

The State Government already agreed to drop $244 million on the project back in June, with the gallery raising the remaining $100 million from private donations.

Construction on AGNSW's Sydney Modern Project will begin in early 2019 and is slated for completion in 2021. The Gallery will remain open during this time.

Images: Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizama/SANAA, courtesy of the AGNSW.

Published on November 21, 2018 by Samantha Teague
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