Meet The Five Sydney Modern Project Finalists


In early 2013, the Art Gallery of New South Wales

unveiled their vision and strategy of creating an art museum for the 21st century: The Sydney Modern Project.

With an aim of completing the project by its 150th anniversary in 2021, the Art Gallery of New South Wales

appointed a six-member jury to shortlist five finalists who will then advance to a second stage of conceptual investigation and assessment.

Well, 2015 is here, and due to announce the winner in April, the AGNSW has released the list of the finalists contending for the headway of the $400 million dollar project.

Listed below (in no particular order) are those five architectural practices and their founders.

1.Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA


Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima, Photo by Takashi Okamoto, Courtesy of SANAA[/caption]
Still reeling from their 2010 win of the highest honour in architecture, the Pritzker Prize.

SANAA has become an architectural great known not for its modernist architecture but for its elements of doubt and ambiguity that often characterise their works.

Based in Tokyo, SANAA designs highly aesthetic and experimental buildings in Japan, Europe and USA. Their white and ethereal architecture has to many people become synonymous with contemporary Japanese architecture.

Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa founded SANAA in 1995, and their work includes a large number of successful public buildings such as the New Museum and the Rolex Learning Centre
Known for their use of glass to create reflections and layered spaces with unclear boundaries, the architects tend to use playful elements in their architecture, adding a note of humour to the experience.

Some of SANAA’s works include: The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion (London), The Rolex Learning Centre (Switzerland), The New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), The Louvre-Lens (France) and The Dior Omotesando Store (Japan)
2. Kengo Kuma & Associates


Kengo Kuma. Image courtesy Kengo Kuma & Associates[/caption]
SANAA are not the only competitors in this $400 million dollar project that are known award winners;

Kengo Kuma has received a number of Japanese awards for his work, counting the Architectural Institute of Japan Award in 1997 and the Mainichi Art Award in 2010, and several international awards.

This architectural practice works with elements of Japanese tradition to create human friendly architecture for the 21st century.

The founder, Kengo Kuma, strives to create not only architecture that is fit for humans but also to generate discussion on the matter; as he is an author of numerous books and articles that examine approaches to contemporary architecture.

Kengo Kuma established his office Kengo Kuma and Associates in 1990 and has since played a prominent role in shaping the architecture debate. Kengo Kuma & Associates have built a wide range of buildings reinterpreting traditional Japanese architecture for the 21st century.

Some of Kengo Kuma & Associates works include: The Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Centre (Japan), The FRAC Marseille (France), The Aix en Provence Conservatory of Music (France), Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum (Japan) and the Suntory Museum
3. Kerry Hill Architects


Kerry Hill[/caption]
The quiet contender, Kerry Hill AO, a Perth Technical College and University of Western Australia graduate is an architect most known for his work specialised in hotel design in tropical Asia.

Hill established

Kerry Hill Architects in Singapore in 1979 and since then has found himself on a rollercoaster of awards and architectural success. While his presence is not of an overbearing sort in the architectural community, he has had a number of works published in magazines and reviews across the globe.

Similar to fellow entrant, Kengo Kuma, Kerry Hill has also been very public in communicating his architectural techniques, tactics and influences; having lectured at the National University of Singapore, the University of Hawaii, the University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland.

Some of Kerry Hill Architects works include: The State Theatre Centre of Perth (Australia), The Singapore Cricket Association Pavilion (Singapore), The Armitage Hill hotel (Sri Lanka), The Serai Hotel (Indonesia) and The Oglive House (Australia).

4. RMA Architects (Rahul Mehrotra Architects)


Photo courtesy of the RMA Architects website[/caption]
Rahul Mehrotra is an architect, urbanist and educator who is the Founder Principal of RMA Architects.

Mehrotra has designed projects that range from recycling urban land and master planning in Mumbai to the design of art spaces, boutiques, weekend houses, factories, social institutes and office buildings across India.

His work is known for its 21st century take on engaging diverse issues, multiple constituencies and varying scales: from interior design and architecture to urban design, conservation and planning.

Mehrotra has also written and lectured extensively on architecture, conservation and urban planning in Mumbai and India.

Some of RMA Architects work includes: The Think Tank Retreat (India), The House in an Orchard (India), The House Around A Tree (India), The Hewlett-Packard Software Campus (India) and The Restoration Of The Chowmahalla Palace Complex (India).

5. Sean Godsell Architects


Sean Godsell with Naomi Milgrom. Photo by Earl Carter[/caption]

Sean Godsell and his team are no strangers to success, Sean himself obtained a Masters of Architecture degree from RMIT University in 1999 has had work published in the world’s leading Architectural journals including Architectural Review (UK), Architectural Record (USA), A+U (Japan), GA Houses (Japan) and Detail (Germany).

Since the architectural practice’s foundation in 1994, Sean has received numerous local and international awards; such as the Victorian Premier’s Design Award, the RAIA Robin Boyd Award, the Cappochin residential architecture award in Italy and a Chicago Athenaeum award in the USA.

In regards to his work itself; Sean likes to take the path less travelled. He avoids polite architectural practice and prefers to abandon all rules. Godsell’s buildings can look tough, raw and crude, outside and inside, but the brutality of the materials is deceptive, inside you will find that they are surprisingly sensual.

Some of Sean Godsell Architects works include: The Warburton trail pedestrian bridge (Australia), The Centre for Contemporary Photography Gallery (Australia), The Grange Road Townhouses (Australia), The LabX Photographic Laboratory + Gallery (Australia) and The MPavillion (Australia).

Feature image via Herald Sun

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