First Look Inside Parramatta Powerhouse Plans


The first animation fly-through for the Powerhouse Parramatta museum has been released. 

The new flagship museum has been designed by Paris-based architect Moreau Kusunoki and Sydney-based architectural firm Genton. 

It is the largest investment in cultural infrastructure by the state since the Sydney Opera House and the first state cultural institution to be established in Western Sydney.

As of November 2021, the state government had spent $200 million on the project including $140 million to buy the 2.5ha site. 

Originally, the plan was to relocate the museum from its Ultimo site to a new site in Parramatta—this were shelved in 2020 after a public outcry.

Lendlease is the main works contractor for the project and has started earthworks, service diversions and foundations. Construction proper is due to begin later this year. 

Lendlease's original $400-million tender to build the museum in September, 2021 had by November, 2021 risen to $553 million. 

Philanthrophic donations towards building and program costs so far total $30 million with Lang Walker donating $20 million and Western Sydney University adding $10 million. 

The museum will include Australia’s largest exhibition space and will be NSW’s largest museum with more than 18,000sq m of exhibition space. 

It is designed to support large-scale exhibitions with a 55m facade that can be lowered and raised to connect with public space outside. 

There will be an immersive digital space for large digital experiences and an expansive rooftop garden and pavilion with productive gardens connecting people with First Nations and agricultural science programs. 

The museum sits on Darug land. The Powerhouse Parramatta design competition jury chair Naomi Milgrom said the proposed plans had taken care to engage with Indigenous communities.

“In response to initial engagement undertaken with the Powerhouse and the local Indigenous communities, the design proposes to include Indigenous elements with a specific focus on teaching and learning, celebrating the sophistication of Indigenous knowledge from this place, through time,” Milgrom said.

“The team demonstrated a strong understanding and willingness to engage with local Indigenous communities to further enrich the project throughout the next stages of the design process.”

▲ Part of the exhibition spaces designed for the new Powerhouse Parramatta Museum by architects Moreau Kusunoki and Sydney firm Genton. Source: Moreau Kusunoki

Programs are also planned to engage with First Nations communities and to create pathways into STEM education and employment for young people.

It will also have seven presentation spaces with a changing program that showcases the Powerhouse collection, tell local stories about the cultural diversity of Western Sydney and host exclusive international exhibitions.

Completion has been scheduled for May 2024 and it is estimated that more than 4000 jobs will be created during the project's development. 


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