$53m redevelopment creates extra 4,500 sq m and National Centre for Creative Learning
Following a major AUD$53m redevelopment, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Sydney will reopen in March 2012 as a bold, new and significantly expanded Museum. The opening of the new MCA promises to be a highlight on the international art calendar, as the Museum is transformed into a major cultural centre for contemporary art and education.
Commencing in August 2010, the redevelopment is by Sydney architect Sam Marshall in partnership with the New South Wales Government Architect. It will create an additional 4,500 sq m, increasing the MCA’s total size by almost 50%. In addition to building three spacious new galleries, the building program will involve a complete refurbishment of existing facilities. The new Museum will house an entire floor dedicated to the MCA Collection, offering a major national resource for education and interpretative programs.
The National Centre for Creative Learning (NCCL) is one of the most significant highlights of the upgrade, created to complement the Museum’s commitment to innovation and its role as a leader in art education. The NCCL features a dedicated multimedia room and digital classroom, two practical studios, a 120-seat lecture theatre and a room for the MCA’s Bella program for children with special needs. Using unique learning programmes and the latest technology, the Centre will connect with classrooms across Australia and the world to engage people with art through seamless accessibility.
New venue spaces will also be added on top of the existing building to take advantage of the MCA’s stunning location with spectacular views over Sydney Harbour to the Opera House. The redevelopment will create a new rooftop café and Sculpture Terrace, featuring an annually commissioned artwork. This expansion directly responds to the MCA’s growing audience – which reached over 580,000 in 2010 and has increased five-fold in the last decade.
The Federal Government and the NSW State Government have contributed $13m each. The MCA’s Chairman, Simon Mordant, and his family have pledged $15m, in recognition of which the extension will be named the Mordant Wing. The City of Sydney has contributed $1m and nearly $9m has been pledged by private donors. The MCA has just launched a campaign to raise the final $2m.