EXCLUSIVE: How Sydney was spared a giant upside down hairdryer on the skyline after rejecting architect’s plans for a new museum
- Rejected designs for the yet-to-be built Powerhouse Museum have emerged
- The facility will move from its long-time home in the inner-city to Sydney’s west
- Museum will create more than 1,100 construction jobs, 2,400 indirect jobs
- One outlandish design proposal appears to resemble an upside down hairdryer
- Another shows a futuristic all-white design, which was also rejected by bosses
Sydney narrowly escaped a giant concrete hairdryer ruining its skyline after a controversial proposal for the Powerhouse Museum was passed over.
The museum is being moved from its inner-city location in Ultimo to Parramatta in a bid to ‘culturally transform’ the city’s west and purportedly create thousands of jobs.
The winning design was always bound to be controversial and has even been labelled a ‘monstrosity on stilts’ by the state opposition.
But concept art obtained exclusively by Daily Mail Australia proves the new riverside building could have been a lot more bizarre.
Steven Holl Architects in the US and Conrad Gargett from Australia proposed this design which resembles an upside down hairdryer (pictured), as the new Powerhouse Museum
NSW state government planners were inundated with 74 concepts from 20 countries, with the winning plans drawn up by Australian’s Genton and the French-Japanese firm Moreau Kusunoki.
But perhaps the most outlandish design was entered by Steven Holl Architects in the United States and Australia’s Conrad Gargett.
Their space-age, ultra-modern concept combined a large cylinder shape on the bottom level with a tall, upright rectangle towering into the air – not unlike the common bathroom appliance.
It is understood the ‘hairdryer’ design was the only major contender that would have spared the area’s heritage-listed Willow Grove estate from demolition.
The 19th century Italianate villa’s destruction has been a major sticking point in the debate over the Powerhouse move.
Another proposal that was rejected by the international panel of judges was an all-white Utopian design.
Put forward by Australian architecture firms CHROFI and Reko Rennie, the futuristic concept looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, with tall rectangular columns.
The futuristic all-white concept looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, with tall rectangular columns (pictured). It was proposed by Australian architecture firms CHROFI and Reko Rennie
The winning plans were drawn up by Australian’s Genton and the French-Japanese firm Moreau Kusunoki (pictured). The project is set to be completed in 2023
Australia’s Scale Architecture and Brazil’s Bernardes Architecture also proposed a wild design using rich, earthy colours to match the landscape.
The blocky design used various green and brown shades to give the building a natural feel which blends into its surroundings.
An entry by the UK’s AL_A and Australia’s Architectus attempted to pull off the opposite effect.
The multicoloured design incorporates converging shapes and staggered level balconies which overlook the river and park below.
Australia’s Scale Architecture and Brazil’s Bernardes Architecture proposed a wild design using rich, earthy colours which blend into the surrounding landscape (pictured)
The multicoloured design which incorporates converging shapes and staggered level balconies was proposed by the UK’s AL_A and Australia’s Architectus (pictured)
Political observers were beginning to suspect the ambitious Parramatta Powerhouse move would be shelved as Australia falls into a recession as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this week Premier Gladys Berejiklian pulled the pin on the $800 million rebuild of ANZ Stadium – at least until the coronavirus crisis is resolved.
But she remains determined to go ahead with the Powerhouse move, hailing its as a major job creator at a time of economic downturn.
According to Ms Berejiklian, the redevelopment will create more than 1,100 construction jobs in western Sydney, as well as 2,400 indirect jobs, and keep hundreds employed once it opens.
The new 15,000 square metre facility is set to be completed in 2023.
The iconic museum showcases an array of industrial technology artifacts ranging from decorative arts, science, communication, transport, costume, furniture, media, computer technology, space technology and steam engines.
There are over 400,000 pieces in the collection.