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The Cutaway ProjectThe Cutaway Project

The Cutaway Project

The Cutaway is a unique cultural venue that sits below the eastern end of Barangaroo Reserve. It is situated on Sydney’s waterfront and on the doorstep of the new Sydney Metro at Barangaroo (to open in 2024).

The Cutaway is meticulously constructed and features an enormous sandstone wall that opens to the sky. When the Cutaway was opened in 2015, it was always envisaged further fitout works would be required to complete the space.

We have commenced work to design and deliver a bespoke fitout of the Cutaway that will resolve current limitations and restrictions on use including a lack of acoustic enclosures, on-site amenities and smaller venue spaces. These fitout works will turn the Cutaway into one of Sydney’s premier cultural facilities and a preferred venue for events, exhibitions, festivals, and installations.


The SSD application for a new cultural facility in the Cutaway at Barangaroo is now on public exhibition until Wednesday 29 March 2023.

You can view the full set of SSD application planning documents here. 

Submissions must be made to the Department of Planning and Environment via the Major Projects planning portal.


  • What is being proposed? 

The new cultural facility within the Cutaway will span three levels inside the existing Cutaway space and includes pre-function spaces, a temporary gallery space, education space, back of house facilities and offices for staff and ancillary retail and café. There are also landscape propositions for the Nawi Cove entry and Stargazer Lawn (Interpretive device).

The design continues our commitment to recognising and celebrating First Nations people and culture, design excellence and high-quality architectural designs, and embedding sustainability initiatives consistent with Barangaroo’s climate positive principles.

  • How can I have my say?

Submissions regarding the SSD application must be made to the Department of Planning and Environment via the Major Projects planning portal.

  • Why do we need to do anything at the Cutaway?

When the Cutaway opened in 2015, it was always envisaged the space would require a future fitout to improve function, operations and visitor experience. While the Cutaway is a popular venue for a range of large-scale events, the use of this space has been restricted by its open-air nature, the impact of noise on nearby residents and insufficient back-of-house facilities and amenities.

  • Who is the project architect?

FJMT Studio is the project architect and has prepared a concept design that will define a new character and identity for the Cutaway, while maintaining the scale, flexibility and diversity of the space.

  • How long will construction take?

The Cutaway will need to close during the fitout construction, which is anticipated to take up to 15 months. INSW will continue to inform the community as plans progress, and we will work with contractors to minimise the impact of construction on neighbouring properties and businesses.  Timeframes for the start and completion of construction is subject to planning and procurement processes.

  • How will you improve the soundproofing of the venue?

The design aims to significantly improve acoustics in the venue and minimise noise to neighbouring properties through a combination of absorbent infrastructure within the events spaces, and purpose-built glass structures to enclose the Cutaway.

  • Was this space supposed to be an Aboriginal cultural centre?

The decision to progress with the Cutaway as a flexible multi-purpose space was made by the NSW Government after a three-phase investigation and consultation process into potential opportunities for the space.

Following the completion of the fitout works, the Cutaway will have the ability to accommodate First Nations cultural events and exhibitions as part of its program, which is consistent with the approach for the development and ongoing curation of Barangaroo.  

Connecting with Country is a strong attribute of the fitout design proposals currently being prepared. The design will respond to the First Nations cultural connections to Country that exist specifically to the Cutaway site and will continue to convey the history of the place and the people, with reference to Gadigal stories – past, present and future.   

FJMT Studio have been working closely with First Nations design consultants, and we will continue to engage with First Nations representatives throughout this process.

  • What kinds of events will be held here?

The Cutaway event space will be able to host a range of events including markets, functions, art shows and concerts. There will also be a gallery and education space to host smaller, temporary exhibitions and events.

  • Will the outcome of Modification 9 affect this project?

No, the Cutaway was approved under the Barangaroo Concept Plan.

Artist impression of the Cutaway fitout concept design. Please credit Infrastructure NSW when using.


Building BarangarooBuilding Barangaroo

Building Barangaroo

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Barangaroo ReserveBarangaroo Reserve

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Barangaroo Reserve recreates a headland that existed before European arrival in Sydney – a place used by First Nations people for thousands of years. This re-imagining required a process of restoration, creation and construction.