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State of the Art: NSW commits $5m to Artspace redevelopment

A worthy investment has seen NSW commit $5 million to see The Gunnery, the heritage-listed home of Artspace, undergo a state-of-the-art redevelopment.

Architects render for The Gunnery by Dunn & Hillam featuring artwork by Dennis Golding

At a time in which government support is in greater, more widespread, demand than ever before, a state investment to the tune of $5 million need be most evidently deserved. In NSW, the lucky latest recipient of such funds is none other than Artspace, Australia’s leading interdisciplinary space for the production and presentation of contemporary art.

The generous state investment highlights the important role of the arts in fuelling NSW’s economic and cultural recovery in the wake of the events surrounding COVID-19. Needless to say, Artspace welcomes the support with wide arms. Together with the NSW Government, Artspace released a statement announcing that the funding will see  The Gunnery, the eminent arts institution’s home, transformed into a fittingly state-of-the-art facility.

Located in the eastern Sydney suburb of Woolloomooloo, The Gunnery has been home to Artspace since 1993, but the building itself dates back to the early 20th century. Adaptive reuse over the decades has seen the federation warehouse building live many lives, including a bulk store for Sydney Morning Herald and a World War II gunnery instruction centre. In the 70s it became a famed artists squat, which naturally led to the creative hub it is today.

Set to transform the heritage space into a 21st century contemporary arts centre, the redevelopment will ensure The Gunnery’s legacy as the landmark destination for visual arts in NSW. Expanded exhibition spaces, increased artist-in-residence studios and a greater connection to the local neighbourhood and Sydney Harbour Foreshore are just a few of the project’s projected outcomes of note. 

“This timely support will see the transformation of Artspace in The Gunnery into a more agile and resilient 21st century centre for innovation in contemporary art through expanded exhibitions, enhanced spaces for learning and education, digital connectivity, commissioning and studio practice,” says Alexie Glass-Kantor, executive director at Artspace.

Artspace worked with Sydney-based architecture practice Dunn & Hillam to develop a master plan and strategic business case in the bid to secure the $5 million state funding. As for the next stage in design for this exciting redevelopment project, that’s currently being determined between Artspace and NSW Government, with the hope to have more information in the coming weeks.

 


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