Sydney Modern Project – Art Gallery of NSW

Our massive rammed earth walls sweep through glazed panels and connected pavilions of two levels this extraordinary new building, linking internal and outdoor landscaped areas. There is over 250 lineal metres, 1350m2 of rammed earth in the two main walls. Including the Mingwei Spirit House dome, the rammed earth contains more than 1000 tonnes of sand material.

Located in Sydney's CBD, next to the Domain and the Botanic Gardens. The challenges of the steep and congested site led us to develop a new methodology for building rammed earth in difficult locations.

We were also commissioned to build the rammed earth dome which forms The Spirit House artwork by Lee Mingwei. The dome is covered by landscaping, and is lit only by a skylight above a Buddha placed below a skylight in an alcove. The entry to this acoustically magical space is via a curving passageway. The Buddha holds a stone - sometimes - which patrons are invited to take with them on their journey. They may take it around the gallery or further, and return it or not. Their story forms part of the artwork.

The gallery was designed by Pritzker award winning architects SANAA for the Art Gallery of NSW.

This is a world class building, one to visit for both its architecture as well as the art it holds. It is Australia’s first art museum to be awarded the highest rating for sustainable design from the Green Building Council of Australia – a 6 star Green Star design rating.

As part of the project, we also built the rammed earth dome for Lee Mingwei’s commissioned artwork, The Spirit House.

Further information including project images and a virtual fly-through video is available on the Sydney Modern Project website.




Art Gallery of NSW/Infrastructure NSW