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Just In: Powerhouse Museum Ultimo Will Close for Up to Three Years From February 2024

The final design for the ambitious $250-million makeover has been revealed — with the project potentially taking until 2027 to complete.
By Ben Hansen
December 04, 2023
By Ben Hansen
December 04, 2023

Powerhouse Museum Ultimo is just a few months away from undergoing its massive $250-million makeover (originally planned as a $500-million project). The beloved cultural hub will officially shut its doors on Monday, February 5, 2024, and may not reopen until 2027, with the full-venue transformation set to take up to three years to complete.

The final design for the ambitious renovation has been unveiled, with a new outdoor public square sitting at the centre of the museum. Expanded exhibition spaces, a new urban space connected to the neighbouring Goods Line, fresh creative studios, and a sleek modern design that maintains and highlights the original 1899 facade are all also part of the revitalisation plan.

According to the Powerhouse team, a full-venue shutdown has been opted for over a staggered shutdown in order to save money, protect the museum's collection and ensure minimal impact on surrounding communities.

The new Powerhouse Museum Ultimo entrance will face the Goods Line, and will reveal the historic details of the building's original power station and turbine hall. The century-old post office building will play a larger role in the updated version of the museum as well.

The revamped museum will also feature a purpose-built learning camp called Powerhouse Academy. This space will offer secondary and tertiary students from regional New South Wales and around the country the opportunity to come to Sydney to participate in immersive learning experiences.

The Powerhouse Museum Ultimo project has undergone a rocky history to get to this point. Back in 2015, Powerhouse Museum Ultimo was earmarked for closure as part of a move to shift the entire facility to Parramatta.

Then, when that idea didn't prove popular, the New South Wales Government committed to revamping and revitalising the existing site, allocating $480–500 million to the makeover. That figure has since been reduced to $250 million, with the Powerhouse Museum Ultimo also adopting a $50-million philanthropy target.

The other Powerhouse Museum location will still be established in Parramatta and is under construction at the moment.

Powerhouse Museum Ultimo will close on Monday, February 5, 2024 for the site's transformation — head to the Powerhouse Museum Ultimo's website for further information.

Published on December 04, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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