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Australia’s Astonishing New Sydney Modern Project

The Sydney Modern Project by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA.ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

By Everett Potter

Visitors to Sydney are suitably wowed when encountering the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Now they have a third structure to add to that shortlist of the city’s significant architectural achievements.

The Sydney Modern Project at the Art Gallery of New South Wales is an astonishing building, multi-leveled, much of it featuring walls of soaring glass, with views over Sydney Harbor and exhibition spaces for both large-scale and intimate works of art. Designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of Tokyo-based firm SANAA, the AU$344 million ($246 million) building opened on December 3, 2022. It’s easily the most significant cultural development in the city since the opening of the Sydney Opera House nearly half a century ago.

Installation view of the Dreamhome: Stories of Art and Shelter exhibition in the new building at the … [+]ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES/ IWAN BAAN
Situated adjacent to the existing 19th-century museum building, with a landscaped plaza between them, the new building, known simply as the North Building, has multiple levels. The new spaces allow it to show Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in a dedicated area. There are galleries for major temporary exhibitions and new media and a remarkable 23,681 square-foot underground exhibition space inside what was formerly a World War II naval oil tank … continue reading

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