Six design teams have been shortlisted in the competition for the landmark new Powerhouse Precinct at Parramatta, Sydney. The Powerhouse Precinct is the largest cultural infrastructure project in Australia. The competition is focused on a 24-hour museum that will showcase Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) collection. The project aims to transform one of Australia’s oldest cultural institutions, setting an international benchmark in cultural precinct design.
The finalist international-Australian and Australian teams are:
- AL_A (UK) and Architectus (Australia)
- Bernardes Architecture (Brazil) and Scale Architecture (Australia)
- BVN Architecture (Australia) and Carlo Ratti Associati (Italy)
- CHROFI (Australia) with Reko Rennie (Australia)
- Moreau Kusunoki (France) and Genton (Australia)
- Steven Holl Architects (United States) and Conrad Gargett (Australia)
The finalists were selected by a Shortlisting Panel led by Jury Chair, Naomi Milgrom AO and including competition jury members Kim Crestani, City Architect, City of Parramatta Council; David Gianotten, Managing Partner – Architect, OMA; Lisa Havilah, Chief Executive, MAAS; Wendy Lewin FRAIA, Principal, Wendy Lewin Architect; and David Riches, Head of Projects, Infrastructure NSW. No design was sought at the competition’s first stage – competitors made submissions based on an outline response to the project brief, past experience and team composition.
New South Wales Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin, said that, “Having attracted 74 expressions of interest involving a staggering 529 individual firms from 20 countries, the level of global interest we received has more than justified our excitement in moving forward with this Western Sydney project. I am particularly thrilled to see our finalist teams include Australian lead firms, collaborations between emerging and seasoned practices and between Australian and international talent who have been inspired by the opportunity this bold and exciting project offers. This major investment by the NSW Government will enrich the cultural lives of people in Western Sydney, boost the local economy, create jobs and draw visitors from Australia and world-wide.”
The six finalists will now attend a site visit in June 2019 and will have three months to develop their concept designs, which will be shown to the public in a physical exhibition and online gallery before the international jury meets. The Powerhouse museum will house Australia’s largest and most advanced planetarium with ultra-high-resolution 3D video and multi-channel immersive audio.
Each finalist team will receive an honorarium of AUD $150,000, and the winner is expected to be announced in late 2019.