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Image of the Sydney Modern Project as produced by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA

Community consultation and development application

A State Significant Development Application for the expansion of the Art Gallery of New South Wales was submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment in November 2017, and included a 30-day public exhibition period. A total of 282 public submissions* and nine submissions* from government entities were received in response to the Development Application.

The Gallery has considered all feedback, and some changes have been made to the project in response to the submissions from both the public and government agencies. The Gallery has lodged its Response to Submissions Report to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for the expansion.

The Report identifies the key themes raised in submissions, provides a response to issues raised and outlines some proposed changes to the project in response to submissions and resulting from continued detailed design development. The Report is available on the Department’s website at:

While the focus of the Report is addressing submissions requesting changes to the project, a total of 70 submissions* also supported the Development Application. The majority of these submissions:

  • Supported the proposed design by the Gallery’s architects SANAA of the new building
  • Endorsed the Gallery’s reasons for an expansion, such as the significant increase in space to share more of the State’s extraordinary art collection with the public and to enable the Gallery to host more of the world’s and Australia’s best art exhibitions in NSW
  • Welcomed the tourism and economic boost an expanded Gallery would generate, and
  • Supported the public utilisation of the disused WWII oil tank as part of the expansion.

While a comprehensive summary of all responses and proposed changes to the development is outlined in the Report, some of the key changes made by the Gallery in response to submissions are:

  • Refinement of the design of the Sydney Modern Project to further increase the area of public, open, green space, with 65% of the site remaining publicly accessible 24/7
  • Planting 24% more trees than currently exist in the vicinity of the site
  • Planting more than double the number of trees that will need to be removed as a result of the construction of the new building
  • Changing the material of the external façades of the new building to warm-toned natural stone to better complement the sandstone façade of our much-loved existing building and the landscape setting of the Domain
  • Significantly increasing the area of photovoltaic cells to further improve the environmental sustainability outcomes of the project
  • Changes to the design of the new building to further reduce the visual impact along Art Gallery Road and from the Royal Botanic Garden’s Woolloomooloo Gate, and complement the heritage significance of our existing building
  • Changes to proposed traffic arrangements along Art Gallery Road to further improve access for visitors, pedestrians and vehicles to the precinct.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment will now consider the Gallery’s State Significant Development Application, all submissions received and our response to those submissions, in determining the outcome of the Development Application. The next project milestone will be determination of State Significant Development Application by NSW Department of Planning and Environment and the NSW Minister for Planning, sometime in the second half of 2018.

Community consultation continues to be an important part of the expansion and transformation of the Gallery into one of the world’s great art museums. Since May 2015, the Gallery together with SANAA has been evolving the design of the new building through consultation and engagement with a broad range of stakeholders, including the Gallery community, project stakeholders such as the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and Roads and Maritime Services, neighbours, Indigenous communities, regional partners, art and community groups, and visitors to the Gallery.

We would like to continue to hear your views about the project.

There will be further opportunities to be part of the conversation as the project progresses. Sign up to our e-news to receive regular updates about the project and activities: see Find out more

*Total number of submissions provided by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.