Sydney Modern Project
The Sydney Modern Project is a new standalone building to the north of the existing Gallery building, at the junction between several critical pathways.
Pedestrians cross the site to go to and from the city, while cars run along an expressway below.
The terrain of the site is diverse. There is a 20m rise from the harbour to Art Gallery Road, where the Art Gallery’s front door is located.
Adjacent is a land bridge that connects the Art Gallery to the Botanic Garden.
At the lowest level of the site are two decommissioned oil tanks that were used during the Second World War.
These tanks, roads, and the land-bridge are all part of Sydney’s history.
The new building is composed of a series of pavilions of various sizes and gallery volumes, which sit lightly across these elements.
The low roofs step and shift gently along this topography to preserve existing significant trees, sight lines, and the contour of the site.
Connecting the existing and new gallery buildings is a civic plaza – the Welcome Plaza – a shaded outdoor area connected to the entrance pavilion of the new building that acts as a shared space for the community.
It is a large open plaza into which many activities can spill simultaneously.
We envision a space where visitors and school groups can gather casually, meet new people and prepare for their visit to the Art Gallery.
From inside the entrance pavilion, visitors can then see down into an atrium, glimpsing art, activities, and landscape beyond.
Exhibition spaces are spread across the various levels of the building.