The new Powerhouse Museum forecourt enclosed with tree structures made of reinforced cardboard tubing, designed by internationally renowned architect Shigeru Ban, is well underway in Sydney.

Shigeru Ban and architecture firm Toland are behind the museum’s $4.3 million revitalisation design, which is due for completion later this year.

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The project brief was to create an ‘open museum’, an exciting new entry experience and to reconfigure the museum’s exhibition, educational, workshop, function and public spaces.

The development includes the refurbishment of existing buildings, the main forecourt, new stairs, works to Switch House facade and south face of Wran building, relocation of main entry and internal modifications.

Robert Toland is interviewed at length on the design concept on the museum’s website, where he makes the point that Shigeru Ban’s involvement provides an interesting counterpoint to the nearby projects of Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry.

The museum has uploaded this animation of the revitalisation:

Meanwhile, Ban is also currently making headlines for plans to build cardboard cathedral in Christchurch New Zealand, after their century-old building was destroyed in the earthquake this year. If approved, could be completed by February next year.

The project also received some attention last week from architecture critic Elizabeth Farrelly.