Australian government grants Art Gallery of NSW AU$244m for expansion
The expansion is expected to increase visitor numbers from 1.3 million to around 2 million annually
Australia’s minister for the arts Don Harwin has awarded AU$244m (US$186.2m, €164.8m, £145.4m) to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, with the funding going towards the museum’s grand AU$344m (US$262.5m, €232.4m, £205.2m) expansion.
In addition to the government funding, the Sydney gallery is planning to launch a capital campaign later this year, seeking a further AU$100m (US$76.3m, €67.5m, £59.6m) in philanthropic support for the project, of which AU$70m (US$53.4m, €47.3m, £41.7m) has already been pledged.
The expansion will significantly increase space for the gallery to exhibit art and will improve the state’s ability to attract more major international art exhibitions to NSW. It is also expected to increase visitor numbers from 1.3 million to around 2 million annually.
SANAA architects’ Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa are behind the expansion plans, which will include new educational facilities, space for live performances, open exhibition space and the re-introduction of natural light to the gallery’s original 19th century exhibition spaces.
The design incorporates the gallery’s surrounding topography and climate, with the exterior featuring cascading platforms of sandstone and glass connecting the gallery to its surroundings.
The existing Art Gallery NSW building dates back to 1871. If plans go according to schedule, the gallery will open in 2021 ahead of the institution’s 150th anniversary. The Australian government hopes to turn the gallery into one of the world’s premier art institutions. back