The centrepiece of the precinct is a 24-hour museum that will be built on the banks of the Parramatta River in Sydney’s newly-designated Central River City, one of the fastest-growing parts of the region.
The competition will be run in two stages, with an honorarium set at AU$150,000 (£84,000) for each of at least five finalist teams.
Australia’s New South Wales minister for the arts Don Harwin launched the open global search, which is being run by UK-based competition organiser Malcolm Reading Consultants.
The open competition welcomes both Australian and international design teams and encourages creative and intellectual collaborations between established and emerging talent.
Purpose-built exhibition and public spaces of 18,000m2 will enable the museum – which was founded in the late nineteenth century as the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS) and whose major site is currently in Ultimo – to embrace a new strategy of integrated and immersive programmes.
The new Powerhouse museum will also be home to Australia’s most advanced planetarium and its first dedicated learning space devoted to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
Minister for the arts Don Harwin said: “This competition is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a purpose-built Powerhouse Precinct at Parramatta that will welcome people from across the world and NSW. We are looking for the best designers from across NSW, Australia and internationally to create this new cultural landmark in Parramatta.”
Competition director Malcolm Reading said: “This competition has been eagerly awaited by the international and Australian design community.
“The new museum has the potential to remake Parramatta’s relationship with the river and set a benchmark for exemplary design in this fast-developing city.”
The competition process has been endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects and the jury will be chaired by Australian entrepreneur Naomi Milgrom. Milgrom will be joined by MAAS CEO Lisa Havilah, Australian architect Wendy Lewin and international architect David Gianotten of OMA.
The competition is being organised by independent specialists Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC). The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 22:00 AEDT / 11:00 GMT Monday 18th March 2019.
At least five finalist teams will be selected at stage two and each finalist team will receive an honorarium of AUD$150,000.
The designs produced by the shortlisted teams during stage two will be shown to the public in a physical exhibition and online gallery and the project client, Create Infrastructure, will be seeking public feedback on the proposals before the international jury meets.
The winner announcement is expected in the second half of 2019.