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Above: Architect and donor Penelope Seidler inside the current Macleay Building at the University of Sydney, image courtesy University of Sydney.
Award-winning Sydney firm Johnson Pilton Walker has been chosen to design the University of Sydney’s Chau Chak Wing Museum.
The 6000 square metre museum will redevelop the University’s historic Macleay and Edgeworth David buildings, connecting the two via a new extension. The museum will house the University’s collections alongside key works from the Power Collection, providing a modern cultural and intellectual space for the University.
The Chau Chak Wing Museum will provide facilities for the collections to be used for research and teaching, and will allow visitors to access the collection.
“The Chau Chak Wing Museum is a unique opportunity to explore synergies between the University’s diverse and important collections,” said JPW Director Graeme Dix.
JPW has won more than 100 design awards over the past decade, including the Australian Institute of Architect’s Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture for the past two years running. It has worked with many of Australia’s leading cultural institutions and has completed master plans for the Australian Museum, the South Australian Museum, the Western Museum and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
The announcement coincides with donations from two of Sydney’s most significant arts patrons, the Nelson Meers Foundation, which is contributing $1 million and architect Penelope Seidler, who is donating $750,000.
“The Macleay Building was the southern hemisphere’s first purpose-built university museum,” said the University’s Director of Museums and Cultural Engagement David Ellis. “With the generosity of our donors and the experienced architects of JPW we are now in the exciting position of being able to transform the Macleay building back to its original purpose and make additions to create a new, vibrant museum and engaging learning space for students.”
The museum, established by a $15 million donation from Chinese-Australian entrepreneur Dr Chau Chak Wing, is due to open in 2019.