More information about the Parramatta Powerhouse has been revealed, showing plans to include column-free exhibition spaces as well as thematic priorities for the museum.
The Parramatta Powerhouse will be a headquarters for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in western Sydney. It is the largest cultural investment in Sydney since the Sydney Opera house.
The museum will have over 18,000 sqm of exhibition space and will host public events and education programs.
The Brisbane Times reports that Indigenous astronomy, private space exploration, transport, food science and agriculture, and the link between climate change and energy are the thematic priorities for the museum’s program.
Planning process nearly complete
The planning process for the new museum is nearly complete. Once approved, work will begin early in 2021. The main works contracts will be awarded in late 2021. Multiplex, LendLease and Richard Crookes Constructions have all been shortlisted for the Parramatta Powerhouse construction contract.
Plans for exhibitions have already begun. The museum has started to have conversations with the Australian Space Agency.
Lisa Havilah, Chief Executive, explained that the Parramatta Powerhouse “will be one of the largest exhibition spaces in the country. It can be both a lightbox and a black box, it has full climate control, it will have weight loadings that we’ll be able to suspend aircraft, present trains really be able to present any of those large objects from our collection.”
LED-covered immersive screen space
The building design means that there will be large, column-free exhibition spaces. One level of the western wing will feature an immersive screen space.
This room will be covered from floor to ceiling in LED lights. Havilah says that this “will be like walking into, in a very large scale way, another world whether it’s walking into another hemisphere, or walking into the galaxy. We’ll be able to have a fast-changing program because of the technology.”
In collaboration with scientists, the Royal Botanic Gardens and First Nations agronomists, the roof of the museum will feature a garden as well as a research and education space.
The Parramatta Powerhouse plans to have “six different exhibitions happening” at any one time, Havilah explains. This will allow visitors to “come and have six different experiences, whether they are international shows or local history shows, science or immersive screen.”
The NSW government recently decided not to relocate the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo to Parramatta. Instead, the Parramatta Powerhouse will join the museum in Ultimo in providing two world-class museums in NSW.