SYDNEY MODERN APPROVED News / Project Milestone / 22.11.2018

The final round of planning for the Sydney Modern expansion has been approved with construction anticipated to commence early in 2019. Following extensive consultation and planning, McGregor Coxall has developed the Landscape component of the work, in collaboration with Pritzker Prize-winning architects, SANAA.

The Sydney Modern expansion fulfils the Gallery’s need for more display space whilst also amplifying public use of the surrounding landscape, retaining and celebrating significant trees and enhancing universal connectivity around the site. The Landscape design includes a number of publicly accessible gardens that will allow for the display and enjoyment of art, including a public art garden, entry plaza, courtyards and 2,900m2 of wild flower roof terraces.

The Art Garden provides a central public lawn and a pivotal landscape connection between the new and existing buildings whilst the Berm Garden provides a tiered lawn space that also serves as a buffer to the Eastern Distributor situated below it. Between the new extension and the existing gallery will be the Entry Plaza - an open-sided, roofed culture-rich plaza inviting in the city beyond, providing an active civic space and an enhanced entry point capable of hosting educational and cultural events that links the precinct through landscape, culture and art.

Landscaped roof gardens will enhance views to the surrounding city whilst reducing stormwater runoff and absorbing urban heat. The project team has worked closely with the Royal Botanic Garden in species selection to ensure maximum biodiversity benefits. Australian wildflowers, being nectar-rich and shaped to attract pollinators, will help to attract and sustain Sydney’s native bee population by providing a diverse source of pollen and nectar.

Since 2015 McGregor Coxall has worked with SANAA to evolve the design to maximise open space across the site, integrating the building with the landscape and enhancing sustainability initiatives. The project has achieved a 6-star Green Star design rating and key sustainability initiatives include rainwater harvesting, extensive solar panels and a seawater heat exchange system for air-conditioning.