New South Wales, Australia

The new Powerhouse Parramatta Museum challenges the museum paradigm, proposing a ‘hyper-platform’ with limitless potential and intemporal aesthetic. 

Parramatta’s identity as a place of meeting has roots deeply ingrained in cultural exchange and conviviality throughout time. Within the new vision for the Greater Sydney Area that expands towards the West, Parramatta becomes the biggest new hub in the geographical centre of wider Sydney. Powerhouse Parramatta aspires to become a new destination for Western Sydney and the world, a neutral space for the creation of new shared memories within a museum that constantly reinvents itself. Every visit at the Powerhouse Precinct at Parramatta will be a new intellectual and emotional experience in the collective memory, in a place worthy of time.

The efficiently compact built form of the museum treads lightly on the site, creating a porous civic ground. The architecture opens up towards the River and the Country, creating a generous new public park and a 24-hour space for locals and for visitors. Seven flexible Presentation Spaces are the core components of the new Powerhouse. A structural exoskeleton wraps around the different constituent elements of the museum and supports their dynamic programming, providing total interior freedom. Through the dissolution of the structure into a fine and efficient three-layered lattice, the building is at once intimate and iconic. 

Powerhouse Parramatta is currently in its Design Development and Construction stage, and is due to open in late 2024. It was the unanimous winning entry in the international design competition held by the Powerhouse Museum (MAAS) and the State of New South Wales in 2019, in which 74 teams and 529 individual firms competed.

2019 - present (under construction)
Museum, artist residences, educational spaces, office, retail, public realm
265 000 000 €
Surface area
Site: 19 500 m², floor area: 34 000 m²
Local Architect
ARUP (structure, MEP, facade, acoustics, venues, civil & flood, fire, security, maintenance, sustainability), McGregor Coxall (landscape), Jun Sato Engineering (exoskeleton), DEP (kinetic structure), L’Observatoire International (architectural lighting)
Infrastructure New South Wales, Powerhouse Museum MAAS (end user)
Images and Drawings: Moreau Kusunoki Video: Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS), Visual edit: Maris Mezulis, Audio design: Braxton Raymond