Located on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour, the revitalised heritage precinct features world-class cultural facilities and is the new home to some of the nation’s leading performing arts companies.
Minister for Infrastructure Rob Stokes said the facility would help draw people back into the CBD and attract international visitors.
“This is a pivotal project for Sydney because it will transform the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct into a premier arts destination and enhance Sydney’s reputation around the world,” he said.
“It’s amazing achievement to have a public arts and cultural hub right on Sydney’s famous waterfront with new state-of-the art facilities, while still having its iconic heritage preserved.”
“It’s wonderful to have been involved in this journey from inception to delivery – first approving the project as Planning Minister, and now seeing the final product delivered as Infrastructure Minister,” said Mr Stokes.
Minister for the Arts Ben Franklin said the NSW Government was proud to welcome resident arts companies to their new home in Pier 2/3 and the public to the whole Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, after major works were completed in December.
“After two years of carefully transforming an empty wool store into a premium 21st century space for the arts, Pier 2/3 welcomes the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Theatre for Young People and Bell Shakespeare as its new resident companies,” said Mr Franklin.
“I look forward to seeing the reactivation of the Precinct from March when the resident arts companies on Pier 2/3 welcome audiences and participants into their new spaces – including the Biennale of Sydney, in residence at Pier 2/3 until June.”
“The evolving story of Walsh Bay Arts Precinct now shifts into the hands of the many artists who will transform this precinct in new and unforgettable ways.”
As part of construction, large sections of the roof were raised to increase usable performance space and accommodate the required lighting and sound equipment, and retractable seating banks were installed to deliver flexible performance spaces.
Spanning Wharf 4/5 and Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct is home to nine resident companies: Australian Chamber Orchestra; Australian Theatre for Young People; Bangarra Dance Theatre; Bell Shakespeare; Gondwana Choirs; Sydney Dance Company; Sydney Philharmonia Choirs; Sydney Theatre Company; and The Song Company.
The Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Theatre for Young People and Bell Shakespeare are now rehearsing in their new spaces at Pier 2/3, with visitors able to attend events onsite from mid-March 2022.
“The move to Pier 2/3 unlocks so many opportunities for the Company to continue sharing Shakespeare with Australians everywhere including those outside capital cities,” said Gill Perkins, Executive Director, Bell Shakespeare.
“We are incredibly grateful for the significant investment that has been made by the NSW Government at Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, for the support of the Australian Government, and of course for the generosity of our longstanding donors, corporate partners and trusts and foundations who have all helped to realise our new home.”
It is also a key venue of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney. Presented from 12 March until 13 June 2022, the Biennale will exhibit at Pier 2/3 at Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, where audiences will be able to experience international and Australian artists as part of its free program.
For more information about the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, visit: www.insw.com for details.
Image: Redeveloped Pier 2/3 at Walsh Bay Arts Precinct – photo by Brett Boardman