Construction starts on Sydney Modern

13 November 2019

Construction works on the Sydney Modern Project have commenced, which will be an expansion that almost doubles the Art Gallery of NSW’s space, enabling more of our State’s art collection to go on show, as well as hosting more exhibitions from around Australia and the world.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for the Arts Don Harwin today marked the start of construction in a ceremony above the underground oil tanks that will be converted to exhibition space as part of the project.

“The Sydney Modern Project is a major public investment that will enrich the cultural life of our State and deliver economic benefits for generations to come, injecting more than $1 billion into the NSW economy,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The $344 million expansion will create an international art destination in one of the world’s most beautiful cultural precincts for everyone to enjoy. Gallery visitor numbers are expected to increase to at least two million people a year.”

Ms Berejiklian paid tribute to the generous philanthropists who had partnered with the NSW Government and the Gallery to make this once-in-a-generation project possible, raising more than $100 million.

Mr Harwin said the Gallery’s new building, designed by Pritzker-prize winning architects SANAA, would be an architectural and cultural landmark.

“The Sydney Modern Project will almost double the space to show more of the State’s outstanding art collection and host the best Australian and international exhibitions,” Mr Harwin said.

“One of the highlights of the expansion will be a prominent destination for the Gallery’s internationally renowned collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.”

President of the Art Gallery of NSW Board of Trustees David Gonski AC thanked the NSW Government and donors for their support.

“This is a truly momentous day as we embark on the next exciting chapter of this great public institution,” Mr Gonski said.

“We thank the NSW Government for making such a significant public investment in the arts, and the extraordinarily generous donors who have pledged support for the new building.”

Art Gallery of NSW director Dr Michael Brand said the Sydney Modern Project would transform the Gallery and the way visitors engage with art.

“Our expansion is more than a stunning new building. It’s about the exciting possibilities ahead of us to deliver more rich and meaningful experiences of art for everyone,” Dr Brand said.

The Sydney Modern Project is due to be completed in 2022. The Gallery remains open during construction.

Infrastructure NSW is managing the delivery of the project on behalf of the NSW Government and Gallery. Richard Crookes Constructions is the builder.

Top of page