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Powerhouse Ultimo Revitalisation

A heritage revitalisation that incorporates the Wran building.

About

The NSW Government is revitalising the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo.  

The revitalisation will provide world-class exhibition spaces focused on applied arts and sciences and a major new public domain. It will reorient the main museum entrance to The Goods Line, maximising use of the pedestrian link and increasing access to public transport.  

Powerhouse Museum Ultimo will continue to deliver an applied arts and sciences program exhibiting the renowned Powerhouse Collection.

Project status

Infrastructure NSW is preparing a single-stage State Significant Development Application to submit to the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure (DPHI).

The revised concept design scheme for the heritage revitalisation of the Powerhouse Museum Ultimo was unveiled by the NSW Government on 4 December 2023. Find out more about the design

Powerhouse Museum Ultimo will be closed from Monday 5 February 2024 to allow for the redevelopment to take place. Timing for construction commencement and completion will be subject to the outcomes of the planning and procurement processes.

Community consultation now open

Community consultation is an important part of the planning process.

As part of the State Significant Development Application (SSDA) for the Powerhouse Museum Ultimo Revitalisation, feedback on the design is being sought to inform the planning process.

The consultation period will run from Monday 5 February to Sunday 25 February 2024.

All feedback will be included as part of the SSDA.

There are many ways you can learn more about the project and provide your feedback:

  • Join a community information session, in-person or online 

  • Contact the project team directly. 

Community information sessions

We will be hosting a series of community information sessions, giving members of the community an opportunity to meet the project team and learn more about the project.

Join us at one of the following in-person sessions: 

Date Location
Thursday 15 February 2024 , 5pm-7pm The Goods Line, where it intersects with Macarthur Street in Ultimo
Saturday 17 February, 10am-12pm The Goods Line, where it intersects with Macarthur Street in Ultimo

 

If you cannot make it in person, you can join one of the following online sessions: 

Registration for online sessions is essential.

Date Location
Monday 19 February 2024, 7pm-8pm

Online

Register

Thursday 22 February 2024, 12pm-1pm 

Online

Register

Contact the project team

You can also contact the project team directly and provide your feedback via:

To help inform your feedback, here are some questions you might want to consider:

  • Do you have any overall feedback on the revitalisation?
  • Do you have any feedback for the architects about the museum’s design?
  • Do you have any feedback for the landscape architects about the new public domain?
  • Do you have any other comments for the project team?

Sign up to the mailing list to receive the latest updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

The design concept has been developed by Durbach Block Jaggers Architects (DBJ) who are proven design innovators and authors of some of our country’s most remarkable buildings. DBJ will partner with Architectus, Tyrrell Studio and Youssofzay + Hart.

The design will be an exemplar of adaptive heritage reuse and will deliver new and expanded spaces enabling the Powerhouse to present exhibitions showcasing the museum’s collection, international exclusive exhibitions, expanded learning programs and programs that support the applied arts, applied sciences and creative industries. The project will reinstate the volume of the interiors of the heritage Power Station (Turbine and Boiler Halls). Conservation and repair of heritage facades will also be undertaken to reveal and activate the buildings.

A single stage Development Application is being pursued for the updated design to support more efficient delivery.

The design retains the 1988 Wran building. It will undergo modifications to improve visitor circulation, exhibition spaces and utilisation.

The Harwood building will be retained for museum use to provide storage, loading, staff accommodation, workshop and conservation facilities for the foreseeable future. It is not included in the scope of the Powerhouse Museum Ultimo heritage revitalisation.

Flexible international standard exhibition spaces that can support and adapt to new and dynamic programs that facilitate direct connections with Powerhouse collections are essential for the museum’s future.  

Existing exhibition spaces will be renovated with the scheme delivering an increase in the amount of high quality and fit-for-purpose exhibition spaces. This will provide a world class museum that will contribute to the NSW visitor economy.

We thank everyone who has provided feedback in earlier stages of this project. This feedback has been considered and incorporated in the revised design.

Yes, when the State Significant Development Application and Environmental Impact Statement are placed on public exhibition, the community will again be invited to provide feedback. At this stage, there will be more detailed information available for review.

The temporary closure of the museum in February 2024 ensures the best use of resources, focusing investment into the revitalisation, and allows time for careful relocation or preservation in-situ of the Powerhouse Collection.

Timing of construction commencement and completion is subject to the outcomes of the planning and procurement process.

Pending planning approval and procurement processes, construction is expected to begin in late 2024.

The Environmental Impact Statement, which will be prepared as part of the State Significant Development Application, will include details about construction. When a delivery partner is engaged for construction, a detailed construction management plan will be developed and there will be further consultation around impacts and mitigations.