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Design proposals unveiled by Six International Teams for Adelaide Contemporary Museum

Australia - May 14, 2018 - 05:00   3331 views

The Arts South Australia has unveiled design proposals for the Adelaide Contemporary Museum that will act as a new South Australia landmark for all South Australians.

The shortlist features six star international and Australian teams for a new landmark cultural destination, Adelaide Contemporary Museum, which is intended to revitalise the former Royal Adelaide Hospital (oRAH) site. The teams include Adjaye Associates and BVN, BIG and JPE Design Studio, David Chipperfield Architects and SJB Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot, HASSELL and SO-IL, Khai Lieu, Office of Ryue Nishizawa and Durbach Block Jaggers.

The concept designs are now available to view on the international competition website at competitions' website and in a free-to-enter public exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Image © Adjaye Associates and BVN / Malcolm Reading Consultants

1. Adjaye Associates and BVN

"The building is conceived as a mythical primal house, set on the land of the Kaurna people. It negotiates the relationship between Aboriginal Country, urban grid and the future-facing city into a synthesised moment of cultural enlightenment," stated in a project description.

"The logic of space is informed by the idea of the house as a vessel for art and meaning. A central light-filled heart – a grand atrium – is surrounded by a series of balconies and rooms, which connect with framed views towards ritualised landscape and distant Kaurna dreaming tracks. The atrium culminates in a skylight, which dissolves the building into light, leading visitors upwards, towards a deeper understanding of culture."

Adjaye Associates and BVN. Image © Adjaye Associates and BVN / Malcolm Reading Consultants

The unique cultural destination on Adelaide’s celebrated North Terrace boulevard will combine exhibition, research and education spaces with a public sculpture park and community meeting place.

In a world first, the Gallery of Time will curate South Australia’s exceptional collection of Aboriginal art and cultures in conversation with work from European and Asian cultures, enabling visitors to look at Australian art in a global context.

Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall said the outcome of this competition will be integrated with the Government’s broader vision for the oRAH site, including the National Aboriginal Art and Cultures Gallery.

Image © BIG and JPE Design Studio / Malcolm Reading Consultants

2. BIG and JPE Design Studio

"The Adelaide Contemporary seeks to reconsider the orthodoxy of how Australian art is curated and experienced through the juxtaposition of art produced contemporaneously across geographical and cultural boundaries," said the architects in a project description.

"We propose to embrace this agenda by incorporating the multiple interests surrounding our site to create an inclusive architecture – a seamless merging between the city and the garden with a diversity of pragmatic yet exciting spaces for art in between."

"Appearing as an extension of the city to the west and pavilions in a garden to the east, the Contemporary will enlarge both public realm and the Botanic Garden, experienced in the ebbs and flows of hard- and soft-scape on its rooftops," they continued.

Image © BIG and JPE Design Studio / Malcolm Reading Consultants

"This is one of the most important sites in Adelaide, and a landmark project that could set the city’s compass for the next few decades, so we’re delighted to reveal six possible futures from some of the most exciting and accomplished design teams in the world," said Michael Lynch AO CBE, chair of the jury and the Art Gallery of South Australia Board’s newly appointed Special Advisor

"Commissioning outstanding architecture is a way Adelaide can say to the world what a fantastic, dynamic city we have, and how deeply creativity is woven into our DNA. We have the art to put in the building; we have the appetite and momentum to make this happen."

Image © BIG and JPE Design Studio / Malcolm Reading Consultants

The six finalist teams were selected in December 2017, by a panel chaired by Michael Lynch AO CBE, from 107 teams made up of circa 525 individual firms applying from five continents.

The jury, made up of nine eminent figures from the arts, architecture, culture and business (see Notes to Editors for full list) will subsequently meet to interview the teams and the winner announcement is expected later in the year, bringing to a close this stage of the project.

Image © David Chipperfield Architects and SJB Architects / Malcolm Reading Consultants

3. David Chipperfield Architects and SJB Architects

"Adelaide Contemporary will be an open and inviting place in the city. The building – its form, materiality and urban response – has developed from an understanding of the characteristics of the site and region. The gallery, both unique and of its context, lends itself to the display, reinterpretation and coming together of art from a variety of mediums and origins."

"The building is a timber structure, comprising large screens and sloping roofs. Distinct from its neighbours, it sits comfortably as part of both city and garden, providing a threshold between the two. Volumetrically, three linear, staggered bars extend from North Terrace toward the Botanic Garden. To the north and east, a landscaped garden creates a new vibrant, open space in Adelaide. The Gallery of Time sits at the heart of the building, while areas for further display, learning, debate and engagement are located on the exterior, visible to the city."

Image © David Chipperfield Architects and SJB Architects / Malcolm Reading Consultants

Adelaide is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people and the project site, close to the Art Gallery of South Australia and part of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site, is rich in Kaurna heritage.

The conditions for Stage Two of the competition have been formally endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects. Each team will receive an honorarium of AU$90,000 for their competition work including their concept design.

Image © David Chipperfield Architects and SJB Architects / Malcolm Reading Consultants

"Adelaide is regarded by many as overdue for a major new cultural infrastructure investment. The Government’s policy supports the development of this proposal which will draw together long-held ambitions from cultural organisations like the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum," said Arts South Australia Executive Director Peter Louca.

"Their collections, the overwhelming majority of which are currently not accessible to the public, deserve to be showcased."

Image © Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot / Malcolm Reading Consultants

4. Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot

"Adelaide Contemporary is a new cultural paradigm that places the idea of the “contemporary” within an expanded time frame, linking the deep history of Aboriginal culture, the historical and geographic breadth of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection, the perpetual present of festivals and events, and art into the future," said the architects in a project description.

Image © Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot / Malcolm Reading Consultants

"The building is conceived of as a curatorial apparatus tailored to support these juxtapositions of time, geography, scale, and media. A matrix of unique spaces unbound by disciplinary categories range in size, height, infrastructure and light quality, and provide infinite flexibility for work across media."

Image © Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot / Malcolm Reading Consultants

"Daylit galleries above and light controlled galleries below are linked by a ground floor Super Lobby – a radically welcoming extension of the city and its gardens. Combining curatorial experimentation with new modes of education anchored by the Gallery of Time, Adelaide Contemporary will be a cultural incubator for South Australia and the world," the architects continued.

Image © HASSELL and SO-IL / Malcolm Reading Consultants

5. HASSELL and SO-IL

"The world is changing rapidly, and so is how we relate to our history and the environment. Beyond providing South Australia with a state-of-the-art facility for exhibiting art, Adelaide Contemporary also needs to anticipate, respond to, and evolve with the increasing importance and expanded presence of arts in public life."

"We have taken inspiration from what makes Adelaide special. Like the River Torrens Karrawirra Parri – a powerful and gracious river that gives life to Adelaide – Adelaide Contemporary will carry and deposit fertile ideas along the course of culture, constantly attracting, hosting, and transmitting pulses between the Australian heartland and locations abroad."

Image © HASSELL and SO-IL / Malcolm Reading Consultants

Image © HASSELL and SO-IL / Malcolm Reading Consultants

Image © Khai Lieu, Office of Ryue Nishizawa and Durbach Block Jaggers / Malcolm Reading Consultants

6. Khai Lieu, Office of Ryue Nishizawa and Durbach Block Jaggers

"We propose a museum like a park with open areas where people can stay freely and gradually shift from art, nature, and public spaces while wandering through the architecture. We imagine architecture that sits gently on the ground to allow for everyone to criss-cross the site freely and to experience gradually integrating urban and natural atmospheres."

"Like a park where different activities happen simultaneously, this place gathers a museum, public spaces, nature, people, terraces and sculptures as part of one realm. We envisioned a large roof to create a comfortable, shaded place to invite people underneath. While providing soft shade, the horizontal gesture of the roof creates openness on all sides so breeze and nature flow through. By creating a large roof floating above the place, we had a feeling it could become a place in Adelaide where people gather, spend time and meet art; where they use the place freely as they imagine."

Image © Khai Lieu, Office of Ryue Nishizawa and Durbach Block Jaggers / Malcolm Reading Consultants

Image © Khai Lieu, Office of Ryue Nishizawa and Durbach Block Jaggers / Malcolm Reading Consultants

The building will showcase the treasures of South Australia’s State Collection and is intended to give a powerful boost to Adelaide’s creative economy. 

The competition also accepts comments on the designs shown in the competition's website. You can send an email to the independent competition organisers. All comments will be collated and passed to Arts South Australia for their information.

A free-to-enter public exhibition of the shortlisted concept designs is being held at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide from 12 May to 10 June.

Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition jury composed of: Michael Lynch AO CBE (Chair), Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin, Beatrice Galilee, Walter Hood, David Knox, Toshiko Mori, Lisa Slade, Sally Smart and Tracey Whiting. 

The winner announcement is expected later in the year, bringing to a close this stage of the project.

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