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White Rabbit Gallery / Smart Design Studio

  • 01:00 - 3 October, 2011
White Rabbit Gallery / Smart Design Studio
White Rabbit Gallery / Smart Design Studio

Courtesy of  smart design studio Courtesy of  smart design studio White Rabbit Gallery / Smart Design Studio White Rabbit Gallery / Smart Design Studio +13

  • Architects

  • Location

    Sydney NSW, Australia
  • Architect

    Smart Design Studio
  • Project Team

    William Smart, Hamish Ginn, Hon Loong, Tatsu Hayashi, Luke Moloney
  • Structural Engineer

    Partridge Partners
  • Services Engineer

    Itc Group
  • Site Project Manager

  • Planner

    Urbis Jhd
  • Lighting

    Architectural Lighting Design
  • Heritage

    Design 5
  • Bca / Pca

    Dix Gardner
  • Client

    White Rabbit Foundation
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

From the architect. The White Rabbit Gallery houses one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of contemporary Chinese art. The gallery displays a permanent collection of many of the ‘big names’ in the contemporary Chinese art movement while allowing visitors to discover the work of younger, emerging artists from China across a variety of media.

The project involved the conversion of a large freestanding brick warehouse with an additional rooftop level in inner-city Chippendale to accommodate four floors of gallery space, a tea-house, digital media theatrette, reception, staff car parking and an artist-in-residence studio.

Courtesy of  smart design studio
Courtesy of smart design studio

Close to Sydney’s Chinatown and Central Railway Station, Chippendale is characterised by its turn-of-the-century brick warehouses that in recent years have housed artists’ studios, galleries and the workplaces for various creative industries; an area that is currently undergoing large-scale urban redevelopment. The former Carlton United Brewery (CUB) adjacent to the gallery site, is planned to be one of the largest urban redevelopment sites that Sydney has known. The cultural contribution the White Rabbit Gallery will make to the CUB development and the regeneration of this inner-city precinct is significant.

The raw and textured brick shell of the industrial warehouse is complimented by the crisp, modern alterations to create an invigorating gallery experience and a robust backdrop for the striking artwork collection. A three-storey sculpture hall provides for the display of specific sculptural works in the collection and brings the dramatic play of natural light into the deepest parts of the building. 

Fluorescent light tubes are incorporated within sculptural window boxes that replace the aluminium warehouse windows, becoming modern white installation elements that diffuse sunlight through the skin of the building. A new, flat, white roof sails over the building parapet to cap the original structure and mark this special new cultural place in Sydney’s inner city.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "White Rabbit Gallery / Smart Design Studio" 03 Oct 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>

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