New plans have been released for the proposed $400 million expansion of the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney Modern. The extension will create more room for the gallery’s current collection, as well housing new international exhibitions. But with the new wing comes the loss of open space.
While 7,830 square metres (78.8 per cent) of space will be used “above existing structures”, the remaining 21.2 per cent will use “unbuilt lands”, which some will take trees and green space from the taken from the Royal Botanic Garden.
Garden views will also be significantly interrupted by the arrival of cranes and fencing, as well as the resulting structure.
The environmental impact statement, released two weeks ago, states the new building’s footprint will reach 7,830 square metres north of the existing structure.
“The proposal includes building on space within the Domain, which is under the control of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust,” a Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust spokesperson told Broadsheet.
“The Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust will work closely with the AGNSW and other stakeholders to minimise any impacts during the construction phase,” said the spokesperson.
Additional bus, coach, taxi and private vehicle drop off zones will be created to compensate for any resulting disruptions to traffic,
The proposal doesn’t outline the introduction of any extra visitor parking spaces though. Those travelling to the Art Gallery of NSW during the build will have to detour to the Domain car park.
The existing building and the new wing will be connected through an Art Garden, essentially a bridge, that will sit above the Eastern Distributor. It’s a public, elevated garden that will also be home to significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks, which can be viewed against the backdrop of the harbour.
The proposal also includes staggered pavilions, which will cascade down the Domain.
The public has been invited to provide their feedback on the application here.
Construction will begin on AGNSW’s Sydney Modern in 2019 and should be completed in time for the gallery’s 150th anniversary in 2021.