Powerhouse collection storehouse opens

Powerhouse Castle Hill officially opens with a weekend of community celebrations, including special behind-the-scenes tours and experiences of the museum’s new $44m state-of-the-art storage facility.

NSW Minister for Arts and Tourism John Graham will officially open Powerhouse Castle Hill. Over two days, from 10 am to 4pm, visitors can enjoy free, family-friendly workshops, artist talks, architectural tours, and performances by musicians, DJs, and dancers, including the First Nations group Jannawi Dance Clan, the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra, and one of Australia’s oldest lion and dragon dancing troupes, Jin Wu Koon.

The opening weekend will also premiere the first exhibition in the new building, Alchemy, presenting commissions by First Nations artists from across Australia who specialise in natural dyeing techniques.

Powerhouse Castle Hill has been delivered through a partnership between Create NSW, NSW Public Works and the Powerhouse. Designed by Lahznimmo Architects and built by Taylor Construction, Powerhouse Castle Hill is the new home for the storage, conservation and display of the Powerhouse Collection, which includes more than 500,000 objects. This is the first time in the museum’s 140-year history that the collection will be stored in one location and co-located alongside conservation, curatorial and collection management staff.

At more than 8,000 sqm, Powerhouse Castle Hill has been constructed to international museum standards and features a visible store, allowing public viewing into the 3,000 sqm large object storage area that stores the museum’s transport collection. One of the southern hemisphere’s largest photographic cycloramas, which can carry objects up to 4 tonnes, has been created to enable the ongoing digitisation of the collection.

The new building will provide public access to education programs, workshops, talks, exhibitions and other public events, and working spaces for academic researchers, scientists and industry partners. The design of Powerhouse Castle Hill has already earned Lahznimmo Architects a nomination in the Australian Institute of Architects 2024 New South Wales Architecture Awards in the category of Public Architecture.

The opening of the building is the latest evolution of the Castle Hill site, which was originally a botanical research station for the museum. From the late 1970s, the Powerhouse started storing some of its collection at Castle Hill. In recent years, this facility became a shared storage facility known as the Museums Discovery Centre, which collects objects from the Powerhouse and the Australian Museum and Museums of History NSW. The new Powerhouse Castle Hill building sits alongside the Museums Discovery Centre, and both are open and free to the public every weekend.

The expansion of Castle Hill is an integral piece of the $1.2 billion renewal of the Powerhouse, including Powerhouse Parramatta, currently under construction, and the heritage revitalisation of the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo.

Search this website