Competition opened for Australian architects to design NGV Contemporary

Feb 1, 2021
  • Article by Tili Bensley-Nettheim

The Victorian Government and the NGV have launched a design competition to select an Australian architectural team to design Australia’s largest contemporary art and design gallery, NGV Contemporary.

Located at 77 Southbank Boulevard in the heart of the Melbourne Arts Precinct, the new gallery will be dedicated to showcasing contemporary art, design, fashion and architecture of local, national and international significance. 

Once completed, the gallery will span 30,000 square metres, making it the largest public gallery of contemporary art and design in Australia.

A bird’s eye view of the Melbourne Arts Precinct from Southbank Boulevard facing north (artist impression). HASSELL + SO-IL.

The gallery will connect to the Southbank neighbourhood and St Kilda Road through an expansive 18,000 square metres of new elevated public gardens. 

The NGV Contemporary Design Competition has been launched, seeking visionary, sustainable and dynamic designs from Australian architectural teams. This national exclusivity is unprecedented for a competition of this scale and profile. 

 ‘NGV Contemporary will be a thriving hub for local, national and international design and architecture, presented alongside significant examples of contemporary art, fashion and performance,’  said Tony Ellwood AM, Director, National Gallery of Victoria and NGV Contemporary Design Competition Jury member. 

‘It is therefore only fitting that NGV Contemporary will be designed and built by an Australian design and architecture team. This design competition presents an unprecedented opportunity to create a building of architectural significance that will become part of the fabric of our state and cultural identity.’

The new 18,000 square metre public garden facing south (artist
impression). HASSELL + SO-IL

The design for the new gallery must consider the function and flexibility required in order to display a diverse range of contemporary art and design; the visitor experience and how they will encounter the works on display as they navigate the building; and the gallery’s connection to the wider community, including the Melbourne Arts Precinct, the Southbank neighbourhood and the wider city.

This landmark project offers an extraordinary opportunity for Victoria and Australia’s architectural community to shape our creative state for decades to come,’ said the Minister for Creative Industries, Danny Pearson. 

Registration for the NGV Contemporary Design Competition is now open for Australian Architects, Architectural Companies and Architectural Partnerships. Collaborative and multidisciplinary teams with a breadth of experience, knowledge and skills are strongly encouraged to apply.

Following the registration period, there will be an Expression of Interest followed by a two-stage design competition.

The new 18,000 square metre public garden facing south (artist
impression). HASSELL + SO-IL

A high-profile jury of Australian and international architecture and design experts will assess competing designs and nominate the design teams that can deliver a global vision for NGV Contemporary. 

The Jury includes Corbett Lyon, NGV Trustee and Director, Lyons Architecture (Jury Chair), Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV and Jill Garner AM, Victorian Government Architect and Director, Garner Davis Architects.

The full jury will be announced at the opening of the Expression of Interest.

The competition is delivered through Development Victoria and Competition Advisors, CityLab.

Registrations for the NGV Contemporary Design Competition are now open here.

Lead photo: Artist impression of NGV Contemporary (gallery building to be designed) viewed from the new public garden. HASSELL + SO-IL

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