The University of Sydney has appointed Johnson Pilton Walker as the architects for its new Chau Chak Wing Museum.

The 6000sqm museum will redevelop the University’s historic Macleay and adjacent Edgeworth David Buildings, connecting the two via a new modern extension. The museum will house the University’s Macleay, Nicholson and University Art Gallery collections alongside key works from the Power Collection.

JPW has won more than a hundred design awards over the past decade, including the Australian Institute of Architect’s Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture for the past two years running. It has worked with many of Australia’s leading cultural institutions and has completed master plans for the Australian Museum, the South Australian Museum, the Western Museum and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

“The Chau Chak Wing Museum is a unique opportunity to explore synergies between the University’s diverse and important collections,” says JPW Director Graeme Dix.

The announcement coincides with donations from two of Sydney’s most significant arts patrons. The Nelson Meers Foundation, a major supporter of the arts since 2001, is contributing $1 million and Penelope Seidler, the distinguished architect, is donating $750, 000. 

“The Macleay Building was the southern hemisphere’s first purpose-built university museum,” said the University’s Director of Museums and Cultural Engagement David Ellis. “With the generosity of our donors and the experienced architects of JPW we are now in the exciting position of being able to transform the Macleay building back to its original purpose and make additions to create a new, vibrant museum and engaging learning space for students.”

The museum, established by a $15 million donation from Chinese-Australian entrepreneur Dr Chau Chak Wing, is due to open in 2019.