SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public

the sydney modern project is now complete

 

The Sydney Modern Project, the transformation of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (NSW), opens to the public this Saturday, December 3, 2022, at a heritage site overlooking Sydney Harbor. The project nearly doubles the Art Gallery’s exhibition space and includes a new SANAA-designed building, taking shape as a cluster of rectangular pavilions that overlap each other.‘We aimed to design an art museum building that is harmonious with its surroundings, one that breathes with the city, the park and the harbour.’ shares the Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architecture firm led by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. The opening program includes works by more than 900 Australian and international artists, including Adrián Villar Rojas, Yayoi Kusama, and Lee Mingwei.

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, 2022, photo © Iwan Baan

 

 

adaptive spaces for new art forms

 

The key element of the ‘Sydney Modern’ transformation of the Art Gallery is the new building designed by SANAA (find more here). The building significantly expands the exhibition space and provides different types of spaces for new art forms. Among these, guests can find the Tank, an adaptive repurposing of a 2,200 sqm World War II fuel bunker, a 1,100 sqm column-free contemporary art gallery, and a time-based art gallery.

 

Other architectural features include three limestone-clad art pavilions that slope gently down to the harbor, 250 meters of rammed earth walls on two levels made from materials sourced from across NSW, and a double-height atrium in the center of the building that is over 11 meters tall at its highest point. Both the interior and exterior of the new building flow seamlessly into accessible ‘art terraces’ and courtyards.

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, 2022, photo © Iwan Baan

 

 

focusing on sustainability 

 

The new building is the first public art museum in Australia to receive a 6-star Green Star design rating, signifying ‘World Leadership’ in environmentally sustainable building practices. 100% of the new building’s energy needs will be met by renewable energy, with more than 10% of energy needs generated by solar panels on the roof of the entrance pavilion. The structure will also be able to capture and collect rainwater to reuse for irrigation and cooling towers. In addition, more than 8,000 sqm of green roofs and landscaped areas are planted with native Australian species.

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, 2022, photo © Iwan Baan

 

 

a museum that breathes with the city

 

The first gallery in the new building is named ‘Yiribana Gallery’ and is dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. The inaugural exhibition at the Yiribana Gallery includes more than 160 works.

 

‘An Indigenous lens is held up across our displays as they powerfully herald new art histories to be written from here. Our curatorial narratives are amplified through networks connecting the urgent social issues that motivate artists in the 21st century, including gender, race, the value of labour, and a strong concern for the precariousness of the natural world.’ mentions Maud Page, Deputy Director and Director of Collections.

 

‘It has been a wonderful honour to design such an important public building in Sydney. Working closely with the Art Gallery of New South Wales team, we aimed to design an art museum building that is harmonious with its surroundings, one that breathes with the city, the park and the harbour. We hope it will be a special place where visitors feel connected to art wherever they are in this beautiful setting.’ share SANAA principals Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, 2022, photo © Iwan Baan

 

nine-day celebration

 

Nine major site-specific commissions will be exhibited throughout the campus in indoor and outdoor spaces. Artists include Francis Upritchard, Lisa Reihana, Lee Mingwei, Yayoi Kusama and Jonathan Jones, whose new commissioned work will open in mid-2023. Argentine-Peruvian artist Adrián Villar Rojas is the first artist to receive the inaugural commission for the Tank Gallery. The art gallery’s permanent collection has been completely reinstalled and offers insights into current themes, creating a new dialog between Australian and international art.

 

‘From our dazzling new stage, we now offer even more art experiences worthy of our location, our history, the many who have contributed to our development over the past 151 years and the many who will look to us for joy, inspiration and insight in the coming decades.’ notes Dr Michael Brand, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The opening celebrations will include a nine-day free program of art, talks, performances and music, with a line up including internationally acclaimed music stars. Amongst the other highlights of the celebrations, Indigenous artist Reko Rennie has designed a spectacular drone show that will animate the night sky above the Art Gallery.

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aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, 2022, photo © Iwan Baan

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
exterior view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, 2022, photo © Iwan Baan

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
exterior view of the Welcome Plaza of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new building, featuring Yayoi Kusama Flowers that Bloom in the Cosmos 2022, photo © Iwan Baan

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
Exterior view of the Welcome Plaza of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new building, featuring Francis Upritchard Here Comes Everybody 2022, photo © Iwan Baan

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
exterior view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, photo © Iwan Baan

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
interior view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, featuring works by (lower wall, left to right) Lindy Lee and Stanley Whitney and (upper wall) Lisa Reihana, 2022, photo © Iwan Baan

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interior view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, featuring Takashi Murakami Japan Supernatural: Vertiginous After Staring at the Empty World Too Intensely, I Found Myself Trapped in the Realm of Lurking Ghosts and Monsters 2019 © 2019 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved., 2022,photo © Iwan Baan

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
interior view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, photo © Iwan Baan

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interior view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, photo © Iwan Baan

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
interior view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, photo © Iwan Baan

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
the Tank space in the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, 2022, photo © Art Gallery of New South Wales, Jenni Carter

SANAA-designed 'sydney modern' art gallery expansion opens to the public
the Tank space in the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, 2022, photo © Art Gallery of New South Wales, Jenni Carter

 

 

project info:

 

project title: Sydney Modern Project at Art Gallery NSW

architecture: Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA

executive architect: Architectus, Sydney, Australia
builder: Richard Crookes Constructions
delivery authority: Infrastructure NSW
structural engineer: Arup 
landscape architects: McGregor Coxall and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN)

location: Sydney, Australia
client: Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW)

ARCHITECTURE IN AUSTRALIA (443)

IWAN BAAN (97)

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES (534)

SANAA (74)

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