The long-anticipated Sydney Modern Project, designed by the award-winning architectural practices SANAA, Architectus and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects, will see the region’s much-loved cultural landmark transformed into an immersive art destination doubling the exhibiting space of the current Art Gallery of NSW building. This significant redesign and expansion comprises a considered overhaul of the existing Art Gallery of NSW edifice as well as construction of a new building set to sympathetically assimilate with the surrounding landscape and augment the experience of the visitors. 

While the revitalisation of the existing space by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects will celebrate the original features of the gallery, the striking new structure will further accentuate the art museum’s world-class offering. Sika, Australia’s leading specialty chemical supplier and manufacturer for the building and construction industry, was engaged to provide premium waterproofing services for this prominent new development.


The exquisite design of the new building boasted a variety of horizontal application areas – each with unique, varying requirements – and because of the location of the new development, the site environment itself presented a suite of its own challenges. Careful consideration had to be given to all aspects of the specification and application to ensure the success of the undertaking.

With the Sydney Modern Project set to become Australia’s first public museum to achieve the highest environmental standard – Green Building Council of Australia 6-star Green Star design rating – it was crucial for the waterproofing roof solution to provide exceptional durability, thermal stability and long-term performance, while allowing for a large number of solar panels to be installed on top of it without compromising the Waterproofing performance of the building.

In addition, as the construction of the new prestigious art gallery building in one of Australia’s most important tourist destinations is a major, high-profile NSW State Government undertaking, it was essential for the waterproofing work to be undertaken within budget, and completed to the highest standard as well as on time.

Sika Solution

In order to provide superior services, Sika worked with the project team from the very start of the venture. They actively participated in the initial design stage with the architect and the waterproofing consultant, and collaborated with the builder directly – Sika’s team attended all relevant design and engineering workshops to ensure that every aspect of the project and installation requirements was addressed, and a comprehensive understanding of the system application was provided.

It became apparent very early in the construction piece that a review was required of the initial non Sika waterproofing solution chosen. Building on previous experience with similar developments, the project team selected the Sika Sarnafil® G410 system. With the exceptionally high profile of the state government’s investment and the incredible cultural legacy of the gallery, it was abundantly clear that only the most-trusted, high-performing and durable system would be suitable for the new structure. Sika’s signature Sarnafil® PVC sheet membrane system provided an exceptional level of confidence.

In line with the project’s long-term sustainability ambitions, the selected product offers a 20 year product warranty and has been proven to deliver unmatched performance over decades. It also boasts high solar reflectance, designed to keep the structure both thermally stable, and resistant to water and environmental influences – considerations of particular importance based on the building’s unique locale, and the dynamically changing weather patterns in Australia.

With environmental credentials of the new cultural destination being of the highest priority, Sika was also able to provide relevant accessories - such as the Sika Uni-Base and the Sika Roof Anchor – which enabled the project team to install the large number of solar panels on top of the membrane. And with Sika’s experience trained Sarnafil® applicators, The Superseal Group, who not only expertly estimated relevant cost but were available for any ongoing site reviews, the work on this prominent project was carried out to budget and completed on time.

Highlighting Sika’s expertise and extensive experience with high-end developments, Sydney Modern Project is yet another example of the organisation’s continuous ability to turn the masterful application of waterproofing membranes into an artform.

Project Size
Sika Representative / Project Manager Andrew McFerran
Date September 2022
Location The Domain, Sydney CBD

Sika Products Used

A fully bonded, waterproofing system for exposed rooftop application.