Powerhouse Ultimo

Powerhouse Ultimo – first stage of design competition launched

Jun 27, 2022
  • Article by Online Editor

Powerhouse Ultimo is one of Australia’s premier cultural institutions and the New South Wales Government is now inviting architects around the country to submit a Registration of Interest to design its renewal.

Launched on Monday 27 June 2022, the invitation to register interest will be followed by the Expression of Interest stage and then the actual Design Competition.

The Powerhouse Ultimo Renewal is underpinned by a transformative $480-$500 million investment by the NSW Government to establish a world-class museum that it is hoped will significantly contribute to a design, technology and cultural precinct in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.


Bringing together adaptive Heritage reuse and contemporary museum practice, the renewal is intended to transform and secure the future of the museum. It will deliver new galleries dedicated to design and fashion alongside expanded support for creative industries and renewed spaces.

“The renewal of Powerhouse Ultimo presents a city-shaping opportunity for an Australian architect to reimagine one of the country’s most revered cultural institutions through new and expanded exhibition and public space, including the delivery of Australia’s first dedicated design and fashion galleries,” says Create NSW interim chief executive Annette Pitman.

“The Powerhouse has always reflected the changing nature of industries which enveloped and surrounded the site. This Design Competition will compel architects to engage with the stories of ingenuity and innovation powering local contemporary design and fashion industries.

“Their task is to integrate working precincts with embedded creative industries and world-class learning, research and community facilities in a contemporary museum context. As it enters its next phase of evolution, Powerhouse Ultimo will amplify and reflect the voices and ideas of our communities. We invite the nation’s best creative design teams to meet this moment with us by bringing vision and clarity to the story of our institution,” adds Powerhouse chief executive Lisa Havilah.

“Registered architects, architectural practices, partnerships and teams across Australia are encouraged to take up the challenge of this significant platform to leave their mark on the Australian cultural landscape. This visionary project offers a singular opportunity to embrace the rich heritage aspects of the former Power Station whilst elevating the central role of contemporary design and fashion in a landmark cultural institution,” says competition adviser and CityLab founding director, Andrew Mackenzie.

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