MCA redevelopment announced

May 4, 2010
  • Article by Online Editor

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney has announced that redevelopment will commence in June, after receiving State and Federal Government funding as well as a large donation from the Chairman of the MCA’s Foundation, Simon Mordant.

Sydney architect Sam Marshall, in partnership with the NSW Government Architect, will design the extension and propose ideas to energise the surrounding precinct at The Rocks and Circular Quay. The extension will be named the Mordant Wing, in recognition of the philanthropic support of the Mordant family.

The extension to the north end of the MCA building will provide a Centre for Creative Learning of national significance, providing workshop spaces for school and after-school youth programs. It will also house new facilities for the Museum’s Bella program for young people with special needs, a digital classroom, multi-media room, library and resource room and a lecture theatre/new media events space.

The extension will also include additional gallery space, and a new fully accessible entrance. Extra commercial spaces will allow the museum to generate ongoing revenue, so that the museum can continue to offer free entry to visitors.

Construction is set to begin in June 2010, with the project due for completion in early 2012.

The State and Federal Governments have each committed $13 million to the project, while MCA Foundation chairman Simon Mordant has committed $15 million. The City of Sydney has pledged $1 million, while private donors have so far raised $7.45 million. The project budget is $53 million.

At the announcement of the project, Director of the MCA Elizabeth Ann Macgregor said: “This is an incredibly exciting moment and has only been made possible because of the support from the Federal and NSW Governments along with a truly visionary gift by Simon and Catriona Mordant. The importance of this contribution to our community, made possible by the enthusiasm and commitment of this unique funding partnership, is truly breath-taking.”

Fund-raising for the project first began in 2007, when Simon Mordant committed $5 million to the appeal. Since then, he has been the driving force behind the campaign, said Ms Macgregor, adding: “This incredible private donation will be a legacy for generations.”

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04 May 10 at 8:08 AM • justin

thats a shocker!!!

06 May 10 at 5:17 AM • Matt S

Mordant Wing? Gallery for sarcastic art?

I reckon it’s all become too slack since everyone accepted the ubiquitous heritage argument that ‘it is better and more appropriate for a new addition to be strident and confident of it’s own identity than merely to emulate the original’.
OK, aping a historic building is moribund, but isn’t it just pissweak design to completely fail to capitalise upon the qualities of the building you’re working with?

06 May 10 at 5:54 AM • d smith

Wish it was still the original competition winning Sejima scheme, that was worldclass.

06 May 10 at 7:21 AM • matt

first year architecture students can do better.

06 May 10 at 8:05 AM • Greg

yeah, fits well with the Rocks precinct…………………..

07 May 10 at 12:00 AM • fairness to competition

there have been many competitions for this site….what has happened to these schemes, all by the way far superior than the one proposed. Do we really need a sample board to be built on the Quay?

11 May 10 at 1:38 PM David Neustein

I have mixed feelings about this project. On one hand, the images released thus far don’t fill me with an enormous amount of optimism. But perhaps more importantly, Sam Marshall is still considered an emerging architect, and we should welcome opportunities for local and less established architects to contribute to the fabric of the city.


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