sanna nsw art gallery

New South Wales (NSW) Art Gallery in Australia has awarded a contract to Japan-based architectural firm Sanaa to design the Sydney Modern Project.

Tokyo-based designers Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa from Sanaa were selected for the landmark building design through an international architectural competition titled the ‘Pritzker architecture prize’, which started in September 2014.

The Sydney Modern Project aims to transform the gallery through developing of new and expanded facilities.

Final design concept for the upgrade will be devised by Sanaa in co-ordination with the gallery authorities, with feedback from the general public.

The expansion project has an estimated value of A$450m ($345.3m) and is scheduled to be completed before the 150th anniversary of the gallery’s opening in 2021.

Sanaa is expected to create expansive indoor and outdoor spaces and set-up enhancements in the gallery, such as reintroduction of natural daylight to revitalise its 19th century look.

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"It responds to and respects the extraordinary beauty of the competition site."

The expansion initiative will revamp the under-utilised site north of the existing gallery, which includes two grassed concrete platforms, one over the Cahill Expressway and the other over disused World War II oil tanks.

Pritzker Prize jury said: "The architects hold a vision of a building as a seamless whole, where the physical presence retreats and forms a sensuous background for people, objects, activities and landscapes."

Art Gallery of New South Wales director Michael Brand said: "The Sanaa concept is at once subtle and spectacular in its design.

"It responds to and respects the extraordinary beauty of the competition site through a series of pavilions that reach out to the Domain, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Harbour and Woolloomooloo."

Image: Ryue Nishizawa (left) and Kazuyo Sejima (right). Photo: courtesy of Art Gallery of New South Wales.