Sydney Modern wins 2023 Australian Steel Institute Large Project Award

Recognising the collaborative effort of our talented design and delivery partners.

The Art Gallery of NSW‘s Sydney Modern building has won the Australian Steel Institute (ASI) Large Projects Award.

Collaborating with our extended design and delivery partners, we leveraged market-leading 4D modelling technology which aided in the early detection of construction methodology complexities, particularly in relation to structural steel. This technology also allowed the project team to digitally rehearse, and scenario test programme changes to improve and optimise the project’s delivery.

Given the structure’s complexity and programme requirements, early procurement, planning and precise execution of 1,400 tonnes of structural steel was critical to the building’s success.

The high-profile project achieved a 6 Star Green Star Design & As Built v1.1 certified rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. This speaks to the quality of the design and delivery of the cultural landmark in the Domain parklands overlooking Sydney Harbour. The Art Gallery is the first public art museum in Australia to achieve this world-leadership design rating.

The structural design played a critical role in reducing embodied carbon relative to a standard building. This was achieved through:

Reuse and repurposing of existing structures

  • The art museum’s design transforms a decommissioned World War II fuel tank into a unique gallery space. The Art Gallery’s intent was to leave this space as raw as possible.
  • RCC ensured all unique finishes were protected and retained while constructing several levels of new art pavilion structures on top of the tank.

Smart structural design initiatives

  • Lightweight concrete was used in the composite steel and concrete floor and roof structures supported by both the former fuel tanks and a land bridge.
  • Higher grade steel (grade 400MPa) was utilised.
  • Digital design processes were optimised to represent the geometry and loading efficiently and accurately in analysis and design.
  • The entire building structure was designed to be durable and robust, through the adoption of a 100-year design life.

Advanced structural analysis

  • Due to the highly complex nature of much of the structural steel installation, multiple planning sessions were held for each steel-framed building zone, to develop robust and thorough erection sequencing documents and plans.