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Sydney Modern Project: Ambitious Art Gallery of New South Wales expansion

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Sydney modern project - World War II oil tanks to become art spaces as part of ambitious Art Gallery of New South Wales expansion

The ambitious Sydney Modern Project expansion of the Art Gallery of New South Wales will see two World War II oil tanks re-purposed as contemporary art spaces.

The tanks are just one element of the Sydney Modern Project – a vision to create a global art gallery for a global city.

The Gallery, which has not undertaken a significant expansion in over 30 years, says the current spaces are working beyond their capacity. The intention is to get more art in front of more people, respond to evolving visitor expectations and ensure the Gallery remains competitive nationally and internationally.

Tokyo-based architectural firm, SANAA, has designed the project’s new landmark building which features both indoor and outdoor spaces and significantly increases the Gallery’s current capacity.

Together, the new and existing buildings will create an expanded Gallery campus that links it with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House, State Library of NSW, CBD and Woolloomooloo. State-of-the-art spaces will give the region a world-class venue for world-class exhibitions.

The Gallery will house Australia’s most innovative display of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture which will feature multimedia access to the artists and their stories.

There will also be more space to display Australian art and art from the Asia Pacific region.

Technology is also a key part of the improvements, both as an educational tool and also to expand online engagement with regional communities and visitors both in-house and off-site.

When complete, the gallery hopes to double the number of school visits and boost visitor numbers from 1.2 million to over 2 million annually.

As far as the New South Wales economy is concerned, estimates suggest the gallery could benefit the region to the tune of over $1 billion over the next 25 years.

The project is slated for completion in 2021 to coincide with the gallery’s 150th anniversary.

Image: In progress Sydney Modern Project, oil tank gallery as produced by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA.Featuring artworks left to right: Eko Nugroho, Lot Lost, 2013-2015, © Eko Nugroho; Anselm Kiefer, Women of antiquity, 2002, © Anselm Kiefer.

©Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2017

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Charles Read

Charles is Managing Director at Blooloop. He attends numerous trade shows around the world and frequently speaks about trends and social media for the attractions industry at conferences. Outside of Blooloop his passions are diving, trees and cricket.

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