Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum to undergo $484m relocation

The Powerhouse Museum is to undergo a A$645m ($484m) move from the inner-city to the site of a new arts and cultural precinct on the banks of the Parramatta River in Western Sydney.

The move will see the Powerhouse Museum move into a new premises that will feature the largest planetarium in Australia at 30m wide with ultra-high resolution 3D video and audio. The building will also have 18,000sqm of public and exhibition space, compared to 15,708sqm at its current location.

The new location will also include dedicated play areas and education labs devoted to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics as well as state-of-the-art exhibition halls to host major international interactive exhibitions and art displays.

Gladys Berejiklian, premier of New South Wales, said: “It will be bigger and better than anything NSW has ever seen and will rival global cultural icons such as the London Science Museum and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

“It is so important that young people are excited and inspired by science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics because the jobs of tomorrow will rely heavily on these disciplines.”

The arts and cultural precinct on the banks of the Parramatta River will also include a modernised Riverside Theatres complex, cafes, bars and public spaces.

The Powerhouse Museum is the major branch of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) in Sydney. Early works on the new museum will begin in 2019 and the venue is expected to open to visitors in 2023. The existing Powerhouse will stay open for business before the relocation.

The MAAS Museums Discovery Centre at Castle Hill will also be expanded and upgraded to provide new state-of-the-art labs, workshops and facilities to support conservation and collections management.

Professor Barney Glover, president of the MAAS Trust, said: “This unprecedented investment means people can experience even more of the globally-renowned collection of Australia’s first and only applied arts and science museum.”