The Cutaway project

The Cutaway is a Barangaroo events and cultural space carved from the sandstone underneath Barangaroo Reserve.

The Cutaway

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

When the Cutaway opened as a large concrete shell, it was envisaged the space would require fitting out to improve function, operations and visitor experience. The bespoke design by FJC Studio will resolve limitations and restrictions on use, including lack of acoustic enclosures, on-site amenities and smaller venue spaces. The fit-out works will turn the Cutaway into one of Sydney’s premier cultural facilities and an outstanding venue for events, exhibitions, festivals, and installations.

(Image credit: Toby Peet)

Key features

The fit-out design spans three levels and will include:

  • New event and gallery spaces
  • Enclosure of the open ceiling voids with soundproof, glass skylights
  • Dedicated First Nations education space
  • Improved acoustics, entry and forecourt
  • On site-amenities, offices for staff and back-of-house facilities, including commercial kitchen.

Planning and construction

The SSD application for a new cultural facility in the Cutaway at Barangaroo was approved on 22 December 2023. The planning documentation and approval can be found on the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure's planning portal.

Construction began in May and is expected to be completed in 2025. During this time, the Cutaway will need to close. Infrastructure NSW will work closely with FDC Construction to manage the construction program and minimise the impact on neighbouring properties and businesses.

Changes to access

During construction there will be no access to the lift from ground level (Cutaway entrance). All other levels, including car park levels, are open and stairs around the Reserve can be used. Use the accessible and alternative route map to help with journey planning.

An hourly buggy service is available between 9am - 3pm to help those with accessibility needs travelling between Cutaway entrance (Ground level) to/from Stargazer Lawn (Level 2). Find out more about accessibility in the precinct.


The new cultural facility within the Cutaway will span three levels and includes event and gallery spaces, a dedicated First Nations education space, back-of-house facilities, amenities and offices. There is also a new façade adjacent to Nawi Cove, including landscaping.

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.

It was always envisaged the space would require fitting out 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. 

The Cutaway will be a multi-purpose cultural facility suitable for a range of cultural, artistic and commercial functions. It will be able to host a range of events including markets, functions, art shows and concerts. There will also be a dedicated First Nations education space and temporary gallery to host smaller, temporary exhibitions and events.

The screen that displays the Wellama short film artwork at the Cutaway entrance will be taken down and placed in storage during construction to prevent any damage. The screen will be reinstated in the same location once work is complete.

Work will occur during standard construction hours, with an extended respite period from high noise works, detailed below. Any works outside of these hours will be subject to the relevant authority approvals and communicated with stakeholders in advance. 

Construction updates can be found on the noticeboard for community and neighbours.

Day Hours of work
Monday to Friday 7.00am - 6.00pm. 
Respite period: High noise emission appliances*, plant and/or machinery will not be used before 9am, between 12pm and 2pm, or after 5pm.
Saturday 8.00am - 5.00pm. 
Respite period: High noise emission appliances*, plant and/or machinery will not be used before 9am or after 12pm. 

*High noise emission appliances include machinery such as piledrivers, rock breakers and hydraulic hammers.

You can:

  • Email the project team or
  • Contact INSW reception on 9216 5700 (office hours 8:30am-4:30pm AEST Monday-Friday); answered by INSW reception or voice mail and sent to project email for action.