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Architectural teams shortlisted for Adelaide Contemporary

Gina Fairley

Collaboration is at the heart of Adelaide's newest museum, as six design teams, each a partnership between International and Australian firms, vie for the gig.
Architectural teams shortlisted for Adelaide Contemporary

One of the six finalists for designing Adelaide Contemporary, Wood Bagot, SAHMRI; image supplied.

Six world-class teams has been shortlisted for the competition to design the new Adelaide Contemporary. The first stage of the International Design Competition attracted 107 teams made up of 525 individual firms from five continents.

Executive Director, Arts South Australia Peter Louca said: ‘The global interest in the competition is a vote of confidence in Adelaide Contemporary and a heartening indication of Adelaide’s standing worldwide.’

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The proposed landmark building, located on the site of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital (oRAH) site – adjacent to the Botanic Gardens and within walking distance from the Art Gallery of South Australia’s current venue on Adelaide’s North Terrace – will combine a contemporary art gallery with a public sculpture park and meeting place.

The finalists vying for the commission are:

To read profiles on the design competition finalists visit the Adelaide Contemporary website.

One of the six finalists for designing Adelaide Contemporary, Diller Scofidio Renfro, who designed The Broad Museum LA; image supplied.

A condition of the competition is partnership with an Australian practice at stage two, which has already been fulfilled by the shortlisted teams.

Competition Director Malcolm Reading said that it has been inspiring to see how architects have taken collaboration to heart.

Director, Art Gallery of South Australia Nick Mitzevich continued: 'This is an extraordinarily rich list of diverse creative partnerships of architects looking to complement their talents by working with both peers and smaller talented practices.'

Each team will receive an honorarium of AU$90,000 for their competition work, including their concept design.

The South Australian State Government committed $1.9 million to Stage One, which included the selection of a design team through the international competition.

A site visit for the finalists will be held in January and the teams will have 16 weeks to produce their concepts, which will be revealed to the jury and public in early April 2018.

Mitzevich added: ‘The six teams all showed a strong connection with Adelaide – and understood that our aim is not to create an off-the-peg architectural icon but a piece of Adelaide, an entity that will be sustainable and polymathic in the way it enhances the social, cultural and architectural fabric of the city.’

One of the six finalists for designing Adelaide Contemporary, HASSELL, who designed the Geelong Performing Arts Centre; image supplied.

The announcement of the winning design is anticipated to be made in early to mid-June 2018.

The price tag mooted for the project back in November 2016, when it was flagged, sat at $260 million.

Read: A new plan to make Adelaide contemporary

Mitzevich told ArtsHub: ‘We are proposing that we will stop storing the Collection so that our 62,000 works will be very much a part of this museum. The three things – access to collection, education and contemporary art – will be blurred to create a different kind of art experience in Australia; there is nothing like what we propose.’

By moving the administration and collection to the new site, the gallery can return about 20% of the existing building to public display.

Mitzevich said that the new gallery will be very active and light on technology. ‘It will be about the physical experience,' he said.

About the author

Gina Fairley covers the Visual Arts nationally for ArtsHub. Based in Sydney you can follow her on Twitter @ginafairley and Instagram at fairleygina.

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