Parramatta Powerhouse contest winners announced

10 January 2020
Credit: Moreau Kusunoki/Genton
  • Moreau Kusunoki/Genton

Moreau Kusunoki/Genton


Parramatta, NSW


Moreau Kusunoki and Genton design delicate lattice frame for new museum

Australia’s New South Wales Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin, has announced that the team led by Moreau Kusunoki and Genton have won the design competition for the new Powerhouse Parramatta museum in Sydney. The international contest attracted entries from over 73 teams, including 500 firms from 131 countries. The jury praised the winning team for their aims to re-connect the river with the city, create generous open space, and present the museum as an innovative cultural platform.

The project to relocate the museum from its current base in the city’s Ultimo suburb marks the largest cultural investment in New South Wales since the Sydney Opera House. However, the scheme has proved controversial, with the NSW Labour opposition party pushing for its abandonment in order to redirect funds to the ongoing bushfire crisis and future drought management. The government remain committed to the project, with Don Harwin stating: “Moreau Kusunoki and Genton will develop an exceptional design to carry forward the great legacy of the Powerhouse and its collection for future generations.”

The winning proposal features a delicate latticed exoskeleton that minimises the structure’s weight and carbon footprint, while forming a pattern that evolves layer by layer. The highest levels are created from structural timber, giving the impression of a building dissolving into the sky. The designers envisaged the museum as a multi-functional ‘hyper-platform’, with seven flexible Presentation Spaces to showcase the collection and host changing exhibitions and immersive experiences.

Other areas were inspired by the Japanese concept of ‘mâ’ – an in-between space activated by users depending on need. Moreau Kusunoki said: “The flexible and dynamic presentation spaces are linked through transparent connecting spaces, which offer a quiet place for reflection, a lively place for interaction, a safe, neutral space for meetings and the creation of new shared memories. The Powerhouse will transcend scale to exist simultaneously as both intimate and iconic.”

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

This competition was first published by TenderStream on 28.01.2019 here

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