six international architecture teams have unveiled competing designs for ‘adelaide contemporary’, an art gallery planned for south australia. the new landmark destination will combine exhibition, research, and education spaces with a public sculpture park and community meeting place. the star-studded shortlist includes the firms of david adjaye, bjarke ingels, david chipperfield, and SANAA’s ryue nishizawa, as well as diller scofidio + renfro, who has teamed up with woods bagot, and SO-IL who is paired with HASSELL.

 

the six candidates were selected in december 2017, from 107 teams made up of circa 525 individual firms applying from five continents. the jury, made up of nine figures from the arts, architecture, culture, and business will now meet to interview the finalists, with the winner expected to be announced later in 2018. read more about each of the proposals in the words of the six teams, in alphabetical order, below.

 

 

adjaye associates and BVN


image © adjaye associates and BVN / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

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. 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.


image © adjaye associates and BVN / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

the atrium culminates in a skylight, which dissolves the building into light, leading visitors upwards, towards a deeper understanding of culture. the design establishes a unique visual identity that together with its spatial response, informs a greater sense of place – a place of inspiration, dialogue and encounter. it serves as a physical and symbolic connector of people, art and legacy across culture, geography, time and tradition.

 

 

BIG – bjarke ingels group and JPE design studio


image © BIG – bjarke ingels group and JPE design studio / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

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. 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.


image © BIG – bjarke ingels group and JPE design studio / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

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. to the north it gently steps down in transition to the gardens and the palm house. on north terrace it will establish a respectful yet iconic presence with a public plaza and expanded entrance to the botanic garden. the adelaide contemporary will be a new breed of architecture as social infrastructure and culture bearer across boundaries.

 

video © BIG – bjarke ingels group and JPE design studio / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

david chipperfield architects and SJB architects


image © david chipperfield architects and SJB / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

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.


image © david chipperfield architects and SJB / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

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.

 

video © david chipperfield architects and SJB / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

diller scofidio + renfro and woods bagot


image © diller scofidio + renfro and woods bagot / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

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.


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. 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.

 

video © diller scofidio + renfro and woods bagot / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

HASSELL and SO-IL


image © HASSELL and SO-IL / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

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

 

 

the architecture we propose hosts both the formal and the informal; the everyday and the exceptional. it is humble enough to be open-ended as well as audacious enough to generate more energy than it consumes. it experiments outside the conventional tropes of institutional architecture. through sensitivity and lightness, the building will restore the parkland to a state of balance between nature, art, and people.

 

video © HASSELL and SO-IL / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

khai liew, office of ryue nishizawa and durbach block jaggers


image © khai liew, office of ryue nishizawa and durbach block jaggers / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

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.


image © khai liew, office of ryue nishizawa and durbach block jaggers / malcolm reading consultants

 

 

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.

 

video © khai liew, office of ryue nishizawa and durbach block jaggers / malcolm reading consultants

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