Powerhouse Precinct at Parramatta International Design Competition


The Powerhouse Precinct at Parramatta International Design Competition – update on first stage submissions

Seventy-four submissions from multidisciplinary teams comprised of 529 individual firms were received by the competition organisers, Malcolm Reading Consultants, last month.

Design teams from 20 countries from five continents applied to be considered for the project.

At the geographical heart of Sydney, the Powerhouse Precinct at Parramatta represents a major investment by the NSW Government, which this week confirmed it has completed the site purchase.

The new museum will house Australia’s largest and most advanced planetarium with ultra-high-resolution 3D video and multi-channel immersive audio. The museum will deliver Australia’s first dedicated learning space devoted to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).

A total of 18,000 sqm of purpose-built exhibition and public spaces will enable the museum – which was founded in the late nineteenth century as the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS) and whose major site is currently in Ultimo – to embrace a new curatorial strategy of integrated and immersive programs.

The expert shortlisting panel, chaired by Jury Chair Naomi Milgrom AO, meets this week to select at least five teams who will be given three months to develop their concept designs.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin, said,

‘We are so excited to be forging ahead with this amazing project that will deliver a spectacular new museum for families, industry and educational institution.’

Malcolm Reading, Architect and Competition Organiser, said:

‘This was a very good response to a complex project and brief, with submissions representing a cross-section of Australian and international talent.
‘We would like to thank all competitors for their efforts in crafting their responses. We are delighted that the entrants rose to the challenge of assembling creative and multidisciplinary collaborations, including between established and emerging talent, and engaging with the challenges and opportunities presented in the competition brief.’

The competition jury, chaired by Naomi Milgrom AO, will meet later in the year to choose the winning team.

The competition process has been endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects. The concept designs by the shortlisted teams will be exhibited physically and online and Create Infrastructure will be seeking public feedback on the proposals.

A fast-track project, the Powerhouse Museum is due to open in 2023.