Winning design for NGV Contemporary revealed

Described as architecturally ‘uplifting and generous’, the design for what will become Australia’s largest art gallery – NGV Contemporary – was revealed on Tuesday.

The centerpiece of the $1.7 billion renewal of Melbourne’s Southbank arts precinct, NGV Contemporary has been designed by Australian architectural firm Angelo Candalepas and Associates.

Once completed, the building will feature arched entries and 13,000 square meters of display space, as well as an expansive rooftop sculpture terrace with views of Melbourne’s CBD, parklands and beyond to the Yarra Ranges.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said: ‘We are adding Australia’s largest contemporary art gallery to an already amazing precinct – we’ll deliver a gallery and experiences that make Victorians proud.’

‘NGV Contemporary will be Australian designed and Australian made, creating thousands of local jobs and becoming an iconic reference for our great city on a global stage.’

The Hon Danny Pearson MP, Minister for Creative Industries

Plans for the new Gallery, to be located at 77 Southbank Boulevard, Melbourne, were first announced in June 2018.

Candalepas and Associates will lead a collective of 20 Victorian and Australian-based firms with expertise across architecture, design and engineering. The winning design was selected from a shortlist in a two-stage process that began with an open call for submissions from Australian architects and multi-discipline design teams.

The arrival experience is focused around the visually arresting omphalos (the ancient Greek word for the center of the earth): a central spherical hall that soars more than 40 meters upwards through all levels of the building, connecting to a lantern in the sky.

Monumental in scale, this colossal orientating hall will be an enveloping gallery for the display of large-scale artworks, and will also allow visitors to move through the building via a spiraling pathway that leads up through the building’s levels to emerge eventually on the roof.

National Gallery of Victoria Director Tony Ellwood said: ‘With its uplifting and generous architecture, this design provides all Victorians with a timeless building for arts and culture that will be loved for generations.

‘This ambitious project offers an extraordinary opportunity to support our country’s local design and architecture sector. I congratulate Angelo Candalepas and Associates for their outstanding contribution to this competition and for sharing their special vision for NGV Contemporary with the world,’ he added.

frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen>

Befitting a purpose-built, 21st century gallery, the design features large format and highly flexible exhibition spaces with state-of-the-art display systems, enabling the NGV to present significant works of contemporary art and design of unprecedented ambition and scale.

The extent of exhibition space will allow the NGV to present international blockbuster exhibitions while simultaneously offering a dynamic program of thematic and focused presentations drawn from the NGV’s rapidly expanding permanent collection of Australian and international contemporary art and design. The gallery design also offers educational spaces, studios and laboratories for conservation of artwork.

With pathways through the building that connect the parklands to Southbank, NGV Contemporary will unify the surrounding Melbourne Arts Precinct by connecting together the wider neighborhood and reshaping the urban experience of this important part of the city.

In providing a unique architectural landmark for this complex triangular-shaped site, the winning design provides a generous and highly accessible building, with large arched public entries from the new public parkland, Southbank Boulevard and the corner of Kavanagh Street.

NGV Contemporary will be connected to the wider Melbourne Arts Precinct by an expansive 18,000 square meters of new public parkland designed by Hassell (AUS) and SO – IL (USA), with renowned horticulturalists James Hitchmough and Nigel Dunnett (UK).

Jill Garner AM, Victorian Government Architect and NGV Contemporary Design Competition Jury member, said: ‘Australian architecture and design is of great interest around the world – Angelo Candalepas and Associates’ NGV Contemporary will be an intriguing new landmark showcasing how architecture can respond to and enhance the cultural history and life of our city. This concept embeds a vision to harness and nurture a spirit of creative communication, collaboration and engagement.’

More than 11,000 jobs will be created over the life of the project and the gallery will generate hundreds of ongoing creative sector jobs when it opens in 2028.

NGV Contemporary is part of the Labor Government’s landmark $1.7 billion investment in the Melbourne Arts Precinct transformation, which includes the extensive restoration of the Arts Center Melbourne’s State Theater.

Katrina Sedgwick OAM was recently announced as the Director and CEO of Melbourne Arts Precinct Corporation and will oversee the transformation of the Southbank arts precinct.

Learn more about the design of NGV Contemporary.

About the author


Leave a Comment