Delivered by Richard Crookes Constructions, Sydney Modern wins 2023 National Public Architecture Award

Innovation and sustainability reach new heights at this new art museum experience.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new Sydney Modern building has won a 2023 National Award for Public Architecture presented by the Australian Institute of Architects.

RCC worked with the design architects SANAA, executive architects Architectus, the Art Gallery and Infrastructure NSW to deliver this exceptional project in one of the world’s most beautiful cultural precincts. Inside the building – a series of art pavilions that cascade down the challenging site – the spatial complexity of SANAA’s design is evident. ‘Floors and ceilings swoop and fall, revealing views to the park and the harbour as well as other parts of the building,’ the award citation noted.

A key element of the design was the industry-leading sustainable features that achieved a 6-star Green Star design rating, the first for an Australian art museum. Among the highlights the RCC team delivered was more than 8,000sqm of green roof and landscaped areas and the installation of 735 solar panels covering close to 1,500sqm of roof space.

The adaptive re-use of two World War II naval oil tanks was an intricate and unique component of the development, with one of the decommissioned tanks being transformed into a spectacular art space. The scale, structure and acoustics of the 2,200sqm Tank gallery are remarkable.

RCC’s project team delivered innovative solutions to realise this significant piece of public infrastructure – one which will contribute to Sydney’s arts and cultural life for generations to come. Congratulations to the global team of collaborators who helped bring this new art museum experience to life.

The building was awarded the prestigious Sulman Medal for Public Architecture by the AIA (NSW) earlier this year.