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Architects shortlisted for Sydney Modern Project

Design competition to transform the Art Gallery of New South Wales

22 October 2014

Twelve renowned Australian and international architectural practices have been invited by the Art Gallery of New South Wales to submit a high-level concept design for the Sydney Modern Project that will significantly extend the Gallery’s contribution to the culture, social life and economy of Sydney, Australia’s leading global city.

Gallery Director Dr Michael Brand said confirming the participation of this group of outstanding architects marked commencement of Stage 1 of the two-stage invited competition process and was a key milestone for the Sydney Modern Project.

The Sydney Modern vision for expansion and transformation is much more than just a building project, Dr Brand said.

Through this invited competition the Gallery is seeking ideas that will create an architecturally ambitious, intelligent, sensitive, sustainable and highly functional design. Our site overlooking Sydney Harbour will inspire each of the invited architectural practices, all of whom have extraordinary design skills, Dr Brand continued.

The invited architectural practices are:
Candalepas Associates Sydney
David Chipperfield Architects London
Fender Katsalidis Melbourne
Herzog & de Meuron Basel
Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA Tokyo
Kengo Kuma & Associates Tokyo
Kerry Hill Architects Singapore
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Madrid
RPBW (Renzo Piano Building Workshop) Genoa
RMA Architects (Rahul Mehrotra Architects) Mumbai
Sean Godsell Architects Melbourne
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects New York

The 12 architectural practices were selected by the Sydney Modern Jury, chaired by Dr Brand.

Each of the invited practices has demonstrated exemplary architecture and space making at a variety of different scales and has demonstrated capacity to relate built projects to place and landscape, Dr Brand said.

Mr Guido Belgiorno-Nettis AM, President of the Gallery’s Board of Trustees, said the invited architects represented a diversity of location, size of practice, emerging talent and studio culture.

The Gallery is inspired to be working with 12 such extraordinary national and international practices, said Mr Belgiorno-Nettis.

These are among the world’s top architects, with a truly global representation and an impressive track record involving some of the world’s most innovative projects.

Dr Brand, who chairs the jury, said a key aim of the competition is to create a globally-linked cultural precinct that connects the Gallery, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain, the city and the harbour.

The Jury’s view is that each practice has exceptional capacity to relate built projects to place and landscape, with particular reference to the Gallery’s Sydney Modern vision, Dr Brand said.

The Sydney Modern Project will create a global institution for a global city. The outstanding reputation of each of the architectural practices selected by the Jury ensures we will have 12 astonishing ideas to consider.

The competition process has been endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects.
The jury will select up to five architectural practices to proceed to the second stage of the competition in early 2015.

Based on these final submissions, in April the jury will select an architectural practice that will work closely with the Gallery and stakeholders to develop a detailed design.

The national and international design competition is being funded through a $10.8 million contribution from the NSW Government, provided as part of the 2014–15 State Budget.


Sydney Modern Jury members are:
Dr Michael Brand (Chair) Director, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Ms Kathryn Gustafson Internationally recognised landscape architect with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (Seattle) and Gustafson Porter (London)
Mr Michael Lynch CBE AM CEO West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong
Professor Toshiko Mori Robert P Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Professor Glenn Murcutt AO Internationally acclaimed Australian architect and recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2002
Professor Juhani Pallasmaa Helsinki-based architect, professor emeritus and widely published writer
Ms Hetti Perkins Member of the Eastern Arrernte and Kalkadoon Aboriginal communities and internationally acclaimed curator, filmmaker and author

Media contact

Alec Brown
0427 067 314