Six-strong Powerhouse Precinct fray also features French, Brazilian and Aussie-led teams

Amanda Levete’s AL_A practice and Steven Holl Architects have landed places on the six-strong shortlist for Sydney’s £220m Powerhouse Precinct museum complex.

The firms are joined by teams led by France’s Moreau Kusunoki, Brazil’s Bernardes Architecture and Australia’s BVN Architecture and CHROFI practices. (See box for full team details.)

They were whittled down from 74 bid teams – made up of 529 individual firms – who entered the two-stage competition for the museum, organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants.

View along the Parramatta River towards the site from the west

Source: Parramatta Council

View along the Parramatta River towards the site from the west

Powerhouse Precinct, earmarked for a riverside site in Sydney’s Parramatta suburb, would be a 24-hour learning space focused on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

The brief for the scheme includes a state-of-the-art planetarium and 18,000sq m of exhibition and public space.

Client the New South Wales government said the Powerhouse Precinct would allow the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences “to embrace a new curatorial strategy of integrated and immersive programs”. MAAS’ current Powerhouse Museum is in the inner-city district of Ultimo.

View across the Parramatta River towards the site

Source: MRC/Dianna Snape

View across the Parramatta River towards the site

Naomi Milgrom, jury chair and chair of the shortlisting panel, said the level of interest in the project – described by the New South Wales government as Australia’s largest infrastructure scheme – was reassuring.

“We are grateful to the Australian and international architectural community for the enthusiasm and rigour that ran through the responses. We were excited to have such a field of designers to choose from,” she said.

“This project’s success depends on having faith in creative talent and we achieved our aim – a shortlist strong in fascinating and new collaborations that showed the project’s Australian and international reach. The responses showed a deep interest in the project and its unique promise for the future.”

Each of the shortlisted teams will receive an honorarium worth £80,000 at today’s exchange rates. The competition winner is expected to be announced in “late 2019”.

Powerhouse Precinct shortlist

AL_A (UK) and Architectus (Australia)

Bernardes Architecture (Brazil) and Scale Architecture (Australia)

BVN Architecture (Australia) and Carlo Ratti Associati (Italy)

CHROFI (Australia) with Reko Rennie (Australia)

Moreau Kusunoki (France) and Genton (Australia)

Steven Holl Architects (United States) and Conrad Gargett (Australia)