The Cutaway project

The Cutaway is a Barangaroo events and cultural space carved from the sandstone underneath Barangaroo Reserve. Find out more about one of Sydney’s unique event spaces.

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 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 opened as a large concrete shell, it was always envisaged the space would require fitting out to improve function, operations and visitor experience.

The bespoke fit-out design will resolve current 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.

Key features of the fit-out design, which spans three levels include:  

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

Planning process

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

The development application for the Cutaway fit-out works was approved on 22 December 2023. The planning documentation and approval can be accessed here on the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure's planning portal.

The contract for the Cutaway fit-out has been awarded to FDC Construction. Works are expected to commence shortly and be completed in 2025.

FAQs

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. 

FJC Studio is the project architect. The final design was selected due to its practical, iconic design, and its relationship to traditional custodians and the surrounding environment.  

The Cutaway will need to close during the fit-out construction. Works are expected to commence shortly and be completed in 2025. Infrastructure NSW will work closely with the appointed contractor to manage the construction program and minimise the impact of construction on neighbouring properties and businesses. 

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.

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.

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

You can:

  • Email the project team barangaroo.info@infrastructure.nsw.gov.au 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.