Museums Discovery Centre

Image: Artist impression of Museums Discovery Centre (subject to final approvals) - Lahznimmo Architects.

Image: Artist impression of Museums Discovery Centre (subject to final approvals) – Lahznimmo Architects.

The Museums Discovery Centre in Castle Hill is a collaboration between Create NSW and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS).

Inside the Museums Discovery Centre, visitors can find hundreds of items on display and thousands more waiting to be discovered through Behind the Scenes tours.

Its proposed expansion will allow the whole Powerhouse Collection to be stored on one site when not on display or loan, greatly improving community access to the Collection.

It will play a pivotal role in the development of the new Powerhouse Parramatta, ensuring relocated items from Powerhouse Ultimo are safely stored and remain accessible.

Expansion project

A new state-of-the-art building designed by award-winning Sydney-based architectural practice Lahznimmo Architects, will be constructed on the Castle Hill site, and will include spaces for the storage, care, research and viewing of the Powerhouse Collection, as well as flexible spaces for education and public programs, workshops, talks and events.

This world-class facility will enhance the site’s ability to protect valuable State, heritage and cultural assets in a secure, environmentally-controlled and sustainable space.

The proposed expansion will increase opportunities for storytelling, skill-sharing, education programs, tours, events, partnerships and temporary exhibitions, and provide greater access to the Powerhouse Collection for the people of Castle Hill and broader Sydney community.

The relocation of items from Ultimo to Parramatta will also provide an unprecedented opportunity to conserve, photograph, digitise and document the collection, allowing it to be made available online and accessible to the entire world.

Project Site

The Museums Discovery Centre is located at 172 Showground Road Castle Hill. As part of the proposed expansion, a new building will be constructed on a part of the adjacent TAFE site along the eastern boundary of the existing Museums Discovery Centre site. The land will be transferred to Powerhouse from TAFE NSW.

Project Status

The Powerhouse Museum and Create NSW submitted a Planning Proposal to enable the expansion of the Museums Discovery Centre at Castle Hill. This Planning Proposal sought amendments to site zoning and building height limits to facilitate the construction of a new building. It was publicly exhibited by The Hills Shire Council from 19 June to 17 July 2020. The Planning Proposal has now been approved.

Concurrently, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was developed as part of the State Significant Development Application for the expansion of the Museums Discovery Centre. The Environmental Impact Statement was on public exhibition from 4 November to 1 December 2020. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is currently collating all submissions that were made during this period. See a full copy of the EIS and all other technical documents.

If you have any questions or would like to further discuss the project with us, please contact the project team on project@maas.museum or call 1800 743 436.

Image: Artist impression of Museums Discovery Centre (subject to final approvals) – Lahznimmo Architects.
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