Moreau Kusunoki and Genton to design the new Powerhouse

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin announced that the architectural partnership of Moreau Kusunoki and Genton has been selected to design the new Powerhouse, following an international architectural competition that commenced in January 2019.

Minister Harwin was joined in Parramatta for the announcement by Member for Parramatta and Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, Geoff Lee and President of Trustees Professor Barney Glover AO.

The winning architectural team, selected by the Competition Jury, comprises French architecture practice Moreau Kusunoki as Lead Design Architect and Australia’s Genton as Local Design Architect. The team has strong credentials, led by Moreau Kusunoki who have been awarded the Guggenheim Helsinki competition and have been designing multiple contemporary museums.

Moreau Kusunoki and Genton said: “We envisage the new Powerhouse as a hyper-platform, a building with many functions and limitless potential. The built form will tread lightly on the site, with the architecture opening up towards the river, providing generous public space and creating an open 24-hour precinct. Seven large-scale presentation spaces are at the core of the Powerhouse, facilitating dynamic programming and providing total internal flexibility.”

Mr Harwin said: “We are thrilled to be appointing Moreau Kusunoki and Genton to design the new Powerhouse. This is a significant moment for NSW as it marks the largest investment in arts and cultural infrastructure since the Sydney Opera House. The new Powerhouse will be established as the first major NSW cultural institution to be based in Western Sydney, in Parramatta, at the geographical heart of Sydney.”

“This announcement signals the next stage in the transformation and renewal of one of Australia’s oldest and most important cultural institutions. Moreau Kusunoki and Genton will progress an exceptional design to carry forward the great legacy of the Powerhouse and its extraordinary collections,” said Minister for the Arts Don Harwin.

Professor Barney Glover AO said: “Through the new Powerhouse, our communities and global visitors will be able to engage with world class exhibitions and education programs across science, technology and culture. The inclusion of 60 creative residential studios will attract leading researchers, scientists and creatives from across Australia and around the world, while also providing ongoing opportunities for students from across regional NSW to have increased access to Powerhouse programs.”

Jury Chair, Naomi Milgrom AO said: “Moreau Kusunoki and Genton’s design proposal was unanimously supported. An elegant, robust and intelligent solution, the building’s architecture and structural expression will create a landmark cultural destination of international significance. The proposed spatial organisation, transparency and lightness of the structure encapsulates the ambitions of the new Powerhouse.  The external public realm will be generous, offering an exceptional public open space for Parramatta that will significantly extend the civic link and reinforce the important relationship of the city to the river.”

New Powerhouse International Design Competition Jury

Chair, Naomi Milgrom AO
Kim Crestani, City Architect, City of Parramatta Council
Jeanne Gang, Founder and Principal, Studio Gang Architects
David Gianotten, Managing Partner – Architect, OMA
Lisa Havilah, Chief Executive, Powerhouse Museum
Wendy Lewin FRAIA, Principal, Wendy Lewin Architect
David Riches, former Head of Projects, Infrastructure NSW

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