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The designs are out for Adelaide Contemporary

The highly coveted, international design competition called for a landmark cultural destination for the city of Adelaide – Adelaide Contemporary.

Following an open call competition, with finalists being revealed at the end of 2017, the six proposed designs for the Adelaide Contemporary gallery have now been revealed.

The new Adelaide Contemporary will be a world-class architectural project to house a contemporary art space. Situated on the contested former Royal Adelaide Hospital site, the new project has brought in some heavyweight names from across the world. Integrating more than just a building, the new gallery will combine exhibition, research and education spaces within a public sculpture park.

The Adelaide Contemporary fits into South Australia’s broader vision to reinvigorate the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site, which will be expanded to include a National Aboriginal Art and Cultures Gallery.

“This truly unique and ground-breaking precinct is destined to become a beacon of artistic, cultural and architectural excellence internationally as a culmination of the long-held plans of the South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia to better showcase their collections.

“The precinct is envisaged as an important economic driver for tourism and business investment creating new jobs and inspiring spin-off business initiatives,” says Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia.

When commenting on the proposed designs, Michael Lynch AO CBE, chair of the jury and on the Art Gallery of South Australia’s board shares, “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.

“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.”

The proposals come from six high profile teams and showcase diverse designs.

In alphabetical order:

Adjaye Associates (London, UK) and BVN (Sydney, Australia)

Appearing monolithic with hooded roof structure, Adjaye Associates and BVN’s project incorporates an atrium space and responds acutely to the idea of place.

Project statement: 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.

Other collaborators include McGregor Coxall, Steensen Varming, Plan A Consultants, Barbara Flynn, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Aurecon Group and Front Inc.

BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen, Denmark) and JPE Design Studio (Adelaide, Australia)

A meandering roof path is the central feature of BIG and JPE Design Studio’s project. By adding a roof garden an additional plane, with additional space has been created.

Project statement: 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.

Other collaborators include United Natures, Arketype, BuildSurv, Virtual Built, Future Urban Group, Lewis Yerloburka O’Brien, Marijana Tadic, Erica Green, Peter Dungey, Brian Parkes and Lindy Lee.

David Chipperfield Architects (London, UK) and SJB Architects (Sydney, Australia)

Sitting as timber lanterns on the site, the proposed design by David Chipperfield Architects and SJB is characterised by open-looking timber structures that subtly open out to the surrounding landscape.

Project statement: 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. 

Other collaborators include Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture and Arup Lighting.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York, USA) and Woods Bagot (Adelaide, Australia)

A glimmering façade opens out into a cavernous performance space with a focus on curatorial opportunities. The design by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot is about exploring cultural narratives. 

Project statement: 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.

Other collaborators include Oculus, Pentagram, Right Angle Studio, Klynton Wanganeen, Dustin Yellin, Studio Adrien Gardère, Australian Dance Theatre, Deloitte, Ekistics and Katnich Dodd.

HASSELL (Melbourne, Australia) and SO-IL (New York, USA)

With a variety of protruding white boxes, HASSELL and SO-IL’s proposal expands and contracts in different areas, opening and closing itself to different areas of the site.

Project statement: The architecture we propose hosts the formal and the informal, every day and the exceptional. It is humble enough to be open-ended as well as audacious enough to generate more energy than it consumes. 

Other collaborators include Ali Cobby Eckermann, Arup, Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, Fabio Ongarato Design, Fiona Hall and Mosbach Paysagistes.

Office of Ryue Nishizawa (Tokyo, Japan), Durbach Block Jaggers (Sydney, Australia) and Khai Liew (Adelaide, Australia)

Bringing in open outdoor spaces and pushing the idea of a park, the proposal from Office of Ryue Nishizawa, Durbach Block Jaggers and Khai Liew puts trees front and centre. A thin, curving roof structure softly envelops the project.

Project statement: 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 envisioned a large roof to create a comfortable, shaded place to invite people underneath.

Other collaborators include Masako Yamazaki, Mark Richardson, Arup, Irma Boom, Taylor Cullity Lethlean and URPS.

Stay tuned as the project progresses through the next stages.

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