french firm moreau kusunoki and australian practice genton have won an international design competition to complete a landmark museum and cultural destination in sydney. the winning design was chosen ahead of 73 competing schemes, with other shortlisted studios including amanda lavete’s AL_A and steven holl architects. titled ‘powerhouse parramatta’, the creation of the project will mark the largest investment in arts and culture in new south wales since the sydney opera house.

powerhouse parramatta museum
all images © moreau kusunoki / genton



conceived as ‘welcoming and inclusive to the diverse communities of greater sydney’, the powerhouse parramatta will transform and renew the museum of applied arts & sciences, relocating one of australia’s oldest and most important cultural institutions. moreau kusunoki and genton’s winning design concept seeks to re-connect the river with the city, create generous open space where nature and people can interact, and present the museum as an innovative cultural platform.

powerhouse parramatta museum



oriented towards the riverfront, the design features a latticed exoskeleton that will allow the public to see glimpses of the exhibitions and collection from the outside and give museum visitors views of the city and river. at the core of the building, seven flexible presentation spaces will enable the museum to showcase its internationally-significant collection and host a dynamic program of changing exhibitions and immersive experiences. meanwhile, there will be places for rest, relaxation, and reflection interspersed throughout the building.

powerhouse parramatta museum



‘we envisage the powerhouse parramatta as a hyper-platform, a building with limitless potential which continuously evolves,’ says moreau kusunoki. ‘the built form treads lightly on the site, creating a porous ground plane. the flexible and dynamic presentation spaces are linked through transparent connecting spaces, which offer a quiet place for reflection, a lively place for interaction, a safe, neutral space for meetings and the creation of new shared memories. the powerhouse will transcend scale to exist simultaneously as both intimate and iconic.’ in 2016 moreau kusunoki won the guggenheim helsinki design competition, a project that has since been abandoned.



project info:


name: powerhouse parramatta
location: sydney, NSW, australia
winning team: moreau kusunoki and genton
competition organizers: malcolm reading consultants