Once the administration offices of the Maritime Services Board, this waterside museum was overhauled head to toe (well, almost) in 2011 and re-opened in March 2012 with light, airy, uncluttered interiors, more floor space and a boxy new facade. It's not just good looks, either: the rooftop café and sculpture terrace, high-tech education centre, and 120-seat lecture theatrette and forecourt are all worth checking out.
And the original sandstone heart is still there. “We wanted to keep the old building but provide something next to it that says immediately that this is a contemporary building,” says MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE.
Inside, the galleries themselves are clean, logical and open – with long vistas to entice and draw you in further. While the design of the exterior is about drawing attention, the opposite is the case for the interior. “The most important thing is the art,” says architect Sam Marshall. “In the perfect gallery there would be no architecture visible. For most of the MCA’s exhibitions they install walls, change colours and put different surfaces in. That requires a really simple space with a really simple circulation system.”
|Venue name:||Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)||Contact:|
140 George St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Wed & Fri-Sun 10am-5pm; Thu 10am-9pm|
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MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday
The MCA's collection hang is where you go to get an overview of Australian contemporary art – and it's less daunting than it sounds. The last time they curated the hang was in 2012 (MCA Collection: Volume One), for the launch of the re-designed building,...Sculpture and installations Until Friday August 31 2018 Free
Primavera at 25
Primavera is an annual highlight of the Museum of Contemporary Art, showcasing artists under 35 – many of whom have gone on to become stars. This exhibition showcases the 25-year history of the program via selections from the MCA's permanent collection. Curator...Sculpture and installations Until Sunday March 19 2017 Free
Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything
Read our guide to Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect With Everything Sydneysiders might remember Miyajima’s massive room installation ‘Death Clock’ from the MCA's popular 2012 exhibition Marking Time, which marked the re-opening of the redesigned building. The...Installation Until Sunday March 5 2017
The Museum of Contemporary Art's monthly party series is curated by a different artist or collective each edition, and features art, performance and design – with killer views, party tunes and hands-on activities with artists. Since Artbar kicked off...Digital and interactive Until Friday December 22 2017
Pipilotti Rist's four-wall video aquarium 'Mercy Garden Retour Skin' at the MCA was one of our favourite works in the 2014 Biennale of Sydney. The artist will be back in the building come October 2017, for a major survey of her work spanning from the...Film and video Thursday October 26 2017 - Sunday February 18 2018