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SANAA-designed Sydney Modern Project is set to open in December 2022

Australia Architecture News - Apr 27, 2022 - 10:15   1111 views

SANAA-designed Sydney Modern Project is set to open in December 2022

The Art Gallery of New South Wales has released details about SANAA-designed "Sydney Modern Project" which will transform the Art Gallery of New South Wales into a new cultural development on Sydney Harbour, Australia.

Called Sydney Modern Project, the AU$344 million Sydney Modern Project will open to the public on Saturday 3 December 2022. 

The new project, located on a magnificent site overlooking Sydney Harbour, will be the new expansion of the Art Gallery, one of Australia’s pre-eminent cultural institutions.

Video provided by Art Gallery of New South Wales.

SANAA-designed Sydney Modern Project is set to open in December 2022

Image of the Sydney Modern Project as produced by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA 
© Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2021

Once complete, the Sydney Modern Project will be the first project of Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA, led by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, built in Australia.

The new expansion of the Art Gallery of New South Wales "will be the city’s largest cultural development to open since the Sydney Opera House designed by Jørn Utzon in 1973.

SANAA's transformation will create a new art museum campus by designing two buildings connected by a public art garden next to the existing Gallery. 

SANAA-designed Sydney Modern Project is set to open in December 2022

Aerial. Image of the Sydney Modern Project as produced by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA © Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2021

The Sydney Modern Project will also contain learning studios, a special studio for multimedia works and a rooftop art terrace, overlooking Sydney Harbour in the city. 

The key features of the expansion will be exceptional displays of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, which will be showcased both in a dedicated gallery, the first to be encountered by visitors on entrance level of the new building, as well as across the entire expanded campus.

With the Sydney Modern Project, SANAA will almost double exhibition space and include a spectacular new building designed by the Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa with Australian practice. 

Australia and New Zealand-based Architectus will take place as executive architect in the project.  

SANAA-designed Sydney Modern Project is set to open in December 2022

Lower level 1. Image of the Sydney Modern Project as produced by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA © Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2018. Featuring artworks left to right: Zhang Huan Family Tree 2000 © Zhang Huan; Michael Parekowhai The English Channel 2015 © Michael Parekowhai; teamLab Flowers and People – Gold 2015 © teamLab, courtesy Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney; Emily Floyd Kesh alphabet 2017 © Emily Floyd; Reena Saini Kallat Woven Chronicle 2018 © Reena Saini Kallat.

The revitalisation of its historic building will be led by Australian architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, including a complete re-installation of the collection, extensive outdoor art experiences, and a series of major art commissions across the campus by leading international and Australian artists.

SANAA creates a series of art pavilions that are light, transparent and open to its surroundings, which cascade down towards the harbour, responding the site's topography. 

The new building expands the formal exhibition space from 9,000 square meters to 16,000 square meters and will feature galleries specifically designed to accommodate art of the 21st century as well as special installations in circulation spaces. 

The project also incorporates a vast, columned underground art space, which is repurposed from a decommissioned World War II naval oil tank. The 2,200-square-metre art space will have 7-metre-high ceilings for special commissions and performances.

Acclaimed landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson, with Seattle firm Gustafson Guthrie Nicol, and Australian landscape architects McGregor Coxall will lead the design of landscape and civic spaces of the expanded campus.

SANAA-designed Sydney Modern Project is set to open in December 2022

Image of the Sydney Modern Project as produced by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA © Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2021.  Featuring artworks left to right: Imants Tillers Counting: one, two, three 1988 © Imants Tillers; Kimsooja Archive of mind 2017 © Kimsooja; Rodel Tapaya Do you have a rooster, Pedro? (Adda manok mo, Pedro?) 2015 © Rodel Tapaya.

"All eyes will be on Sydney when our new building opens on our magnificent site on Gadigal Country overlooking Sydney Harbour," said Dr Michael Brand, Director, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

"Our new art museum campus brings together art, architecture and landscape in spectacular new ways, providing visitors with art and cultural experiences only possible here. This is truly the world seen from Sydney," Brand added.

"The Art Gallery’s collection of Australian art is among the finest and broadest anywhere," said a press statement. "From the time of its founding, the Art Gallery has collected and worked with the artists of its time from Australia and around the world."

SANAA-designed Sydney Modern Project is set to open in December 2022

Image of the Sydney Modern Project as produced by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA  © Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2021. Featuring children’s program activities created with permission from artist Mikala Dwyer.

The Art Gallery maintains the New South Wales state art collection of more than 36,000 objects, including more than 2,000 historic and contemporary works of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, acquired over the past 74 years. 

It has been at the forefront of collecting, displaying and interpreting historic and contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island art, and in engaging directly with artists and their communities. The Art Gallery also holds significant collections of Asian and European art and presents major national and international exhibitions.

"The Sydney Modern Project allows us to engage our audiences and work with our artists in thrilling new ways," said Maud Page, Deputy Director and Director of Collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

"When we open in December visitors will experience art right across our campus – indoor and outdoor – from the inaugural installations in our new building to the completely re-installed galleries in our existing building." 

SANAA-designed Sydney Modern Project is set to open in December 2022

Image of the Sydney Modern Project as produced by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA © Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2021. Featuring Taloi Havini Habitat 2017 © Taloi Havini.

"Our collection will be accentuated by bold and compelling new art commissions that contribute to important global conversations of our time from our place here in the Asia Pacific," Page added.

Together with the NSW State Government’s AU$244 million in funding, the Art Gallery has raised more than AU$100 million from private donors to support this once-in-a-generation cultural investment.

SANAA-designed Sydney Modern Project is set to open in December 2022

Image of the Sydney Modern Project as produced by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA 
© Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2021.

In May 2015, SANAA won an international competition to expand the Art Gallery of New South Wales. SANAA revealed new images for the expansion of the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2017. The firm also shared a set of revised images in 2020. 

SANAA was founded by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa in 1995 in Tokyo. Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa were chosen as the 2010 Laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Top image: Image of the Sydney Modern Project as produced by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA © Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2021. Featuring artworks left to right: Christine Streuli Smash it 2013; Guan Wei Revisionary 1998; Kimsooja Archive of mind 2017; Rosalie Gascoigne Metropolis1999; Richard Long Southern gravity 2011; Imants Tillers Counting: one, two, three 1988. All images are © the artist or their estate.

> via Art Gallery of New South Wales