A US$231m extension of the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, designed by Pritzker-Prize-winning firm SANAA, is to open to the public on 3 December.
The project includes a standalone building connected to the late-19th-century museum via a garden, which will double the gallery’s exhibition space. There will also be an underground gallery housed in a Second World War fuel tank, with a display area of 2,200 sq m.
The new structure has been awarded a 6-star Green Star design rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.
The New South Wales was founded in 1872 on a site overlooking Sydney Harbour. It is regarded as the most important public gallery in Sydney, and one of the largest in Australia.
Michael Brand, the gallery’s director, said: “My vision for the Sydney Modern Project has been to transform the gallery into an art museum campus with seamless connections between art, architecture and landscape – a generous and intelligent art museum that believes the art of the past is crucial to understanding the art of our own times.”
Maud Page, deputy director and director of collections, said: “The works resonate with, and sit within, the strong and continuous Aboriginal history of this place. They variously humour, confront, prod and delight, drawing on a myriad narratives, from sci-fi to particular histories from this part of the world. A number of them privilege First Nation knowledges. Asian voices also loom large, as do, of course, Australian perspectives.
“Each commission was chosen to respond to our collection, to SANAA’s lyrical architecture or to simply document the building site. Many of the commissions engage with urgent social issues: migration, displacement, labour value and climate change.”
The opening programme, featuring works from 900 Australian and international artists, will open next week. More information is available here.
SANAA won a design competition for the development in 2017.