Powerhouse Precinct at Parramatta International Design Competition


The Competition

The Powerhouse Precinct at Parramatta International Design Competition was a two-stage process which began with an open Expression of Interest. The competition’s objective was to identify and select an outstanding design team and concept design for the new museum at Parramatta.

The competition aimed to encourage creative and intellectual collaborations between established and emerging talent.

At the first stage of the competition, the project client, Create Infrastructure, was seeking creative multidisciplinary teams led by an architect. 

The focus of the Expression of Interest (which closed on Monday 18 March 2019) was on the core creative team (architect and creative partners). However, as part of their submission, competitors were asked to nominate preferred professional sub-consultants for landscape architecture, structural engineering and MEP/​services engineering. 

Additional supporting consultants, including cost consultancy, project management and exhibition design, will be procured separately. 

The competition was run in accordance with the procurement requirements of the NSW Government and was formally endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects. The competition was managed by independent competition specialists Malcolm Reading Consultants. 

The competition jury was chaired by Naomi Milgrom AO.


Create Infrastructure sought a creative and highly-experienced team, led by either a local or international architect with experience and demonstrated capability as a lead architect on a built project of comparable complexity and program of at least AUD $200M. Competitors were asked to demonstrate their eligibility as part of the stage one submittal. This example project did not need to be a museum or cultural facility. 

If a firm could not partner with an architectural firm that has the experience and demonstrated capability as a lead architect on a built project of comparable complexity and program of at least AUD $200M, the firm was required to articulate to the shortlisting panel the reason why they believed they could deliver a buildable, memorable facility exemplifying design excellence within the construction budget for the base building, public realm and pedestrian bridge (set at AUD $400M) and provide evidence. The shortlisting panel determined if this criterion had been met.

In addition, all teams were required to include an architectural practice that is registered in Australia to meet the registration requirements of the NSW Architects Act 2003.

Stage One — Expression of Interest

This was an open call for participation aimed at attracting the very best design talent to register their interest in the project. Stage One was open to all qualified architects and their creative collaborators who met the requirements as described in the Search Statement.

At Stage One, we were not seeking a design but a demonstration of qualifications: company information; details of the proposed team; relevant experience; and an initial response to the brief as set out in the Search Statement.

Please note the first stage is now closed. The shortlist of six teams was announced in May 2019.

Stage Two — Design Concept 

Stage Two was an intense design period for the shortlist of six teams. During this period, the shortlisted teams attended a site visit and seminar in Parramatta and received further detailed briefing information. An honorarium of AUD $150,000 was paid to each shortlisted team that submitted a compliant tender. A technical panel reviewed the entries and produced a report for the jury. 

The jury met in November 2019 to interview the shortlisted teams, and chose the team led by Moreau Kusunoki and Genton as the winner of the competition.

It is anticipated that an exhibition of the submissions by the shortlisted teams will be held at the Powerhouse museum in 2020.

Further details can be found in the Search Statement.