Project Discover

Upgrades and additions to the Australian Museum, including extension of the existing Crystal Hall.

Artist's impression of the extended Crystal Hall entry and exhibition space to be completed in 2021.

Artist's impression of the extended Crystal Hall entry and exhibition space to be completed in 2021.
Photographer:  © Australian Museum

The Australian Museum’s Project Discover is the first step in the realisation of its vision for the museum, and will significantly enhance many of its key services with a capital investment of $57.5M:

Visitor experience

  • Repurposing existing storage space within the museum to create a new, flexible 1500sqm touring exhibition hall capable of staging major international exhibitions
  • Expansion of the award winning Crystal Hall public entrance to streamline ticketing and queueing
  • Provision of a dedicated groups entry directly off William Street, with a new bus drop-off bay
  • Improved circulation and wayfinding throughout the museum with a new central staircase to relieve bottlenecks
  • Enhancement of accessibility options by provision of a street level entry directly linking to one of the museum’s elevators
  • Provision of a new family-oriented café/restaurant on Level 2
  • New Members’ Lounge overlooking Cook & Phillip Park and St Mary’s Cathedral
  • New escalators providing seamless circulation throughout the museum’s major public spaces
  • Revealing more of the museum’s sandstone heritage building for public enjoyment


  • Creation of dedicated education facilities enabling a doubling of student participation onsite from 50,000 to 100,000 annually
  • Development of new purpose-designed education/exhibition facilities catering for toddlers through to Year 12 students, integrating museum programs linked to the syllabus
  • Development of a garden that will serve as an education resource highlighting First Nations culture and knowledge


  • Replacement of a number of the museum’s public amenities (including more bathrooms and cloaking facilities) catering for families and people with accessibility needs
  • Development of a new AM Store located adjacent to the expanded entry / exit zone

Employment generation and sustainability

  • Project Discover will deliver significant economic benefits to NSW through increased state revenues and employment opportunities
  • Creation of 60+ jobs in the construction industry and up to 14 new full time roles within the museum
  • Inclusion of solar panels to facilitate the museum’s move to renewable energy in line with its objective to become carbon neutral by 2020

The Australian Museum welcomes your comments and feedback on Project Discover. You can view the State Significant Development Application and supporting documents on the Department of Planning and Environment’s website until Wednesday 21 November.

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