The new and expanded Powerhouse Museum will form the centrepiece of a new arts and cultural precinct on the banks of the Parramatta River, including a modernised Riverside Theatres complex, cafes, bars and public spaces.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new Powerhouse Museum will be bigger and better than anything NSW has ever seen. “It will rival global cultural icons such as the London Science Museum and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum,” said Ms Berejiklian.
“It is so important that young people are excited and inspired by science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics because the jobs of tomorrow will rely heavily on these disciplines.”
The new Powerhouse Museum will be the largest museum in NSW and its relocation to Parramatta marks the first time one of NSW’s five major cultural institutions will be entirely located in Western Sydney.
Other key features of the new Powerhouse Museum include 18,000 square metres of exhibition and public spaces – up from 15,708 square metres in Ultimo – and dedicated play areas and education labs devoted to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
The new Powerhouse Museum will feature state-of-the-art exhibition halls to host major international interactive exhibitions and art displays. The domed planetarium will be 30 metres wide and feature ultra-high resolution 3D video and audio.
Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said the NSW Government plans to retain cultural spaces at Ultimo, including plans for a new design and fashion museum and a Broadway-style lyric theatre. “We want to ensure that Ultimo remains a destination for arts and culture as part of a vibrant and engaging precinct,” said Mr Harwin.
Relocating the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo to Parramatta will cost $645 million and work will begin in 2019. The existing Powerhouse Museum will stay open for business in 2018, with an exciting array of international exhibitions and programs scheduled in the coming months.
The MAAS Museums Discovery Centre at Castle Hill will also be expanded and upgraded to provide new state-of-the-art labs, workshops and facilities to support conservation and collections management. For more information, visit: new.maas.museum for details.
Image: Artist Impression of the new Powerhouse Museum to be built in Parramatta (supplied)