Art Gallery of NSW marks construction milestone for Sydney Modern

Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA

The first concrete pour for the foundations of the Art Gallery of NSW’s A$344 million Sydney Modern expansion is underway, following the completion of demolition and earthworks.

The project, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA, is approximately 25 percent complete, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Art Gallery of NSW is marking this construction milestone with the first in a series of short timelapse videos that capture the build through cameras at key vantage points across the site.

Amid the construction milestone, Arts Minister Don Harwin confirmed that the Sydney Modern project is on time and on budget despite the challenges of COVID-19.

Timelapse video of Sydney Modern construction

“We’re so lucky in NSW we’ve got our act together,” he said. “If this project was being built in Victoria there would be 75 percent fewer workers on-site, which means taking longer, and cost overruns.”

Sydney Modern includes a new building and public art garden next to the exiting gallery, almost doubling the space for displays at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Michael Brand, director of the Art Gallery of NSW, said the “architectural experience” can “bring in a broader audience who we can introduce to art in a variety of ways and hopefully turn those citizens into long term-art lovers”.

The expansion will preserve a World War II oil tank, transforming it into a subterranean art and performance space with a spiral staircase.

Construction is set for completion in 2022

Grant D’Arcy, general manager of major projects for Richard Crookes Constructions said the first of two cranes has been deployed, marking the start of the project’s new build phase.

“We’ve just started the concrete works and the galleries are structural steel so we’ll see those evolve pretty quickly now,” said D’Arcy.

Construction is underway and scheduled for completion in 2022.