Parramatta’s New Powerhouse Museum Revealed

Two architects have been nominated for the winning design of the new Powerhouse Museum, in what will be the first major cultural institution in Western Sydney's Parramatta.

In an unanimous decision, French-Japanese firm Moreau Kusunoki and Australian-based Genton were selected by an international panel from a shortlist of six teams.

The appointment comes after opposition over the New South Wales government’s plans to relocate one of Australia’s oldest cultural institutions.

The state government announced it would shift the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta from its inner-city Ultimo location in what was considered up to a $1 billion move.

But premier Gladys Berejiklian has maintained that its moving cost would be closer to the announced $645 million mark.

Recently, Create NSW confirmed that up to $20 million had been spent to date in planning the museum's relocation.

While plans for the new riverside museum are expected to see two heritage buildings demolished to make way for its construction.

Related: Architects Put NSW Government ‘On Notice’ After Powerhouse Announcement

▲ The winning architectural team, selected unanimously by the Competition Jury, comprises French architecture practice Moreau Kusunoki and Australia’s Genton.
▲ The winning architectural team, selected unanimously by the Competition Jury, comprises French architecture practice Moreau Kusunoki and Australia’s Genton.

Powerhouse Parramatta will include 60 creative residential studios expected to attract researchers, scientists and creatives.

It also marks the largest investment in arts and culture in the state since the Sydney Opera House.

“We see it reflecting the diverse and engaged communities of New South Wales, providing exceptional public spaces,” jury chair Naomi Milgrom said of the new Parramatta based gallery.

“Conceived as ‘welcoming and inclusive to the diverse communities of Greater Sydney’... the Powerhouse Parramatta signifies a major shift in how Sydney thinks about itself, its culture and its communities,” the Museum said in a statement.

“For the first time, a major cultural institution will be sited in Western Sydney, in Parramatta.”

Paris-based Moreau Kusunoki, known for winning the Guggenheim Helsinki design competition, recent projects include the Brest National Lighthouse Museum.

While Genton won the Frankston Station design competition in 2017.

▲ The design for Powerhouse Parramatta.
▲ The design for Powerhouse Parramatta.

The design competition, which launched in January and sparked its own controversy after a group of Australian architects penned a letter against pursuing big-name global firms on projects, attracted seventy-four teams, including 529 individual firms, to the open two-stage competition.

The five other shortlisted teams included AL_A and Architectus, Bernardes Architecture and Scale, BVN and Carlo Ratti Associati, Chrofi and Reko Rennie and Steven Holl and Conrad Gargett.

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