Heads up art nerds, the Art Gallery of NSW is going to get a big ol’ upgrade, after a $344 million proposal plan was green-lit by the NSW Government. Considering the NSW gallery has been paling in comparison to Melbourne‘s NGV and ACMIBrisbane‘s GOMA and Hobart‘s MONA, it’s about time that Sydney ups its contemporary and fine art game.

The final designs for the Sydney Modern Project were revealed this time last year, and it involves a bloody huge expansion to the art gallery in a separate building to the left of the existing building – just about doubling the exhibition space and allowing for over 2 million people to visit per year.

The project will also feature an expansive outdoor art garden linking the existing Art Gallery of NSW with the Modern Project, be a vital public connection between the Royal Botanical GardensWoolloomooloo, and The Domain, provide a massive gallery space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait art and sculpture, and open up and repurpose a disused WWII naval oil tank to the public as a grungy contemporary art space.

The new design means that the art gallery will become the first six-star public design space rated by Green Star in Australia, with the new gallery’s plans including sustainable air conditioning, rainwater tanks, and solar panels. The gallery has also committed to replanting double the amount of trees that will be removed during the construction process.

The winning design comes from the team at SANAA, who is behind New York‘s Museum of Contemporary Art, and the satellite museum, Louvre-Lens, in Northern France.

Works on the Art Gallery of NSW are expected to begin in 2019 and be completed in 2021 in time for the gallery’s 150th birthday and the Archibald Prize‘s 100th anniversary. Don’t stress though, you can still duck along to get cultured because the gallery will still be open over the construction time.

Image: Art Gallery of NSW / YouTube