Walsh Bay Arts and Cultural Precinct
The rejuvenation of the Walsh Bay Arts and Cultural Precinct (WBACP) into a fresh cultural and creative hub is a priority infrastructure project for the NSW Government.
The WBACP comprises of Pier 2/3 and Wharf 4/5 and is located within a unique heritage setting on world class Sydney Harbour. The proposal will create a public arts and cultural hub on Sydney’s famous waterfront, while preserving its iconic heritage.
It includes creating new arts facilities and performance venues in Pier 2/3 which is currently underutilised, and refurbishing facilities in Wharf 4/5. Pier 2/3 is the last remaining undeveloped wharf in Sydney and is used for arts, cultural and creative purposes.
Wharf 4/5 is a major arts facility within the precinct with a strong focus on theatre and dance. Existing facilities include:
- Three theatres
- Dance performance space
- Dance studios
- Rehearsal workshop spaces
- Café, bar, and restaurant.
About the proposal
The WBACP proposal covers construction work along with plans for new commercial and event uses.
The detailed scope of the application includes:
- The adaptive re-use of the building for new arts facilities including performance venues for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Bell Shakespeare and Australian Theatre for Young People;
- Retaining a large heritage commercial events/art space for events such as Sydney Writers Festival, Biennale of Sydney and a wide range of commercial and artistic events;
- A series of stairs, external lift and balconies designed as a contemporary interpretation of the original gantries reflecting the precinct’s former industrial heritage; and
- Modifications to the roof.
- Refurbishment of the ground floor arts facilities and associated Shore Sheds for Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Philharmonia, Gondwana and Song Company;
- New commercial retail opportunities;
- A series of stairs, external lifts and balconies designed as a contemporary interpretation of the original gantries reflecting the precincts former industrial heritage; and modification to the roof.
At this stage, the Waterfront Square is not being considered, and does not form part of this State Significant Development Application.
The rejuvenation of the WBACP is being led by the Cultural Infrastructure Program Management Office (CIMPO) – Arts, Screen & Culture (formerly Arts NSW) and supported by Infrastructure NSW. CIPMO maintains responsibility for the strategic and design outcomes and managing stakeholder and community relations, while Infrastructure NSW is responsible for preparing the State Significant Development Application and ensuring the project is delivered in a timely manner.
Award winning architectural firm Tonkin Zulaikah Greer (TZG), who have also worked on the refurbishment of Customs House, Carriageworks and the Sydney Opera House renewal, was appointed in March 2016 and the project architects. TZG is working closely with CIPMO and the arts tenants during the refinement of the design.
The NSW Government remains committed to redeveloping the WBACP and will lodge a new State Significant Development Application in the coming months. The Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements has been granted.
An original staged State Significant Development Application was lodged in support of the project in 2015 and was approved in 2016. Following objections and a legal challenge by local business owners, the Court of Appeal declared on 15 June 2017 that the Department of Planning and Environment’s approval of the stage 1 DA was invalid on the grounds in had failed to properly consider construction impacts and that at least two further staged DAs must be envisaged within a Concept Plan.
To speak to a member of the project team, please contact us on:
Phone: 1800 960 550
Downloads and more information
Download the Media Release (30 June 2017)
Download the Media Release (5 April 2017)
Download the Media Release (16 November 2016)
Download the Media Release (17 March 2016)
Download the Media Release (23 June 2015)
Download the Media Release (21 May 2015)
Download the Walsh Bay Vision Report (2012)
Download the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct Master Plan (2013)
Download the Concept State Significant Development Application