South australia’s first indigenous center on hold


With architecture by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot, a First Nations cultural center dubbed ‘Tarrkarri’ will take shape in southern Australia. The landmark work of architecture is planned for the city of Adelaide, and will showcase the past, present and future of Aboriginal cultures alongside contemporary artworks and cross-disciplinary events. While construction began in December 2021 and was slated to complete in 2025, the museum had encountered significant roadblocks since its initial launch in 2018


Most recently — in October 2022 — significant cost increases have put a hold on construction as the South Australian government launches a review of the project. While $200 million was allocated from both state and federal government in 2020, the total cost is now estimated at nearly $250 million. SA Premier Peter Malinauskas comments that the current budget will only deliver a state significant center, rather than an internationally renowned institution.

tarrkarri first nations australiaimages courtesy Lot Fourteen



tarrkarri first nations center: ‘good isn’t good enough’


The Tarrkarri Centre for First Nations Cultures takes influence from aboriginal cultures across South Australia with both its form and programming. Its name means ‘the future’ in Kaurna language, whose traditional lands include the Adelaide Plains. Its architecture, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro expresses pleated facade channels which nod to the temporary shelter structures created by Aboriginal peoples. Meanwhile, a basket-like nest of columns are planned to frame and anchor the central space. Discover the project’s design through designboom’s previous coverage here.


A centre celebrating the longest continuous culture on earth, celebrating 60,000 years of history, situated within one of Adelaide’s most significant locations, must do justice to the cultures that it seeks to represent,’ says Peter Malinauskas as construction holds. ‘In that context, good isn’t good enough.’

tarrkarri first nations australiathe radial design evokes the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum by DS+R in Colorado (see here)

tarrkarri first nations australia
the architecture draws influence from aboriginal structurestarrkarri first nations australiathe museum is planned to take shape with nesting parts



project info:


project title: Tarrkarri First Nations Cultural Centre

architecture: Diller Scofidio + Renfro | @diller_scofidio_renfro and Woods Bagot | @woodsbagot

location: Adelaide, Australia

previous coverage: June 2018, February 2021, August 2021

visualizations: courtesy Lot Fourteen