Competition to appoint Australian architecture team to design NGV Contemporary

Artist-impression-of-NGV-Contemporary-(gallery-building-to-be-designed)-viewed-from-the-new-public-garden-courtesy-of-HASSELL-+-SO-ILThe Victorian Government and the National Gallery of Victoria have launched a design competition to select an Australian architectural team to design the new purpose-built, twenty-first century gallery, NGV Contemporary.

Located at 77 Southbank Boulevard, Melbourne, the new gallery will be dedicated to showcasing contemporary art, design, fashion and architecture of local, national and international significance in the heart of a transformed Melbourne Arts Precinct. Once completed, the gallery will span 30,000 square metres, making it the largest public gallery of contemporary art and design in Australia.

“NGV Contemporary will be an Australian-designed global icon,” said The Hon. Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria. “In its design, construction, operations, exhibitions and programs, the gallery will create thousands of local jobs and boost our economic recovery.”

Building on the growth in audiences attending ground-breaking exhibitions and installations of contemporary art, design and architecture, NGV Contemporary will elevate Melbourne’s reputation as a thriving and dynamic destination for art, design and architecture in our region.

“This landmark project offers an extraordinary opportunity for Victoria and Australia’s architectural community to shape our creative state for decades to come,” said Minister for Creative Industries, Danny Pearson.

The NGV Contemporary Design Competition seeks visionary, sustainable and dynamic design approaches for a landmark building that celebrates the central role of art and design in contemporary life and culture. In an unprecedented move for a competition of this scale and civic profile, eligibility to enter the competition is open exclusively to Australian architectural teams, offering an unparalleled platform to showcase Australia’s world-leading design and architecture industries.

NGV Contemporary will connect to the Southbank neighbourhood and St Kilda Road through an expansive 18,000 square metres of new elevated public gardens. In turn, the NGV Contemporary Design Competition presents an extraordinary city-changing opportunity to envision the ways in which NGV Contemporary will connect architecturally to the wider Melbourne Arts Precinct and unite Melbourne’s creative heart, joining north to south, and reimagining the very fabric of the city.

‘This state-of-the-art gallery will be a major drawcard for millions of visitors from across Victoria, Australia and the world,” said Janet Whiting AM, President, Council of Trustees, National Gallery of Victoria. “The Australian designed and built NGV Contemporary will be a legacy-making Victorian architectural landmark that will become a must-see cultural destination on the itineraries of visitors to our city.’

Registration for the NGV Contemporary Design Competition is now open for Australian Architects, Architectural Companies and Architectural Partnerships, and is a prerequisite to participating in the competition. Collaborative and multidisciplinary teams with a breadth of experience, knowledge and skills are strongly encouraged to apply.

The design for the new gallery must consider the function and flexibility required in order to display a diverse range of contemporary art and design; the visitor experience and how they will encounter the works on display as they navigate the building; and the gallery’s connection to the wider community, including the Melbourne Arts Precinct, the Southbank neighbourhood and the wider city. Following the registration period, there will be an Expression of Interest followed by a two-stage design competition.

A high-profile jury of Australian and international architecture and design experts will assess competing designs and nominate the design teams that can deliver a global vision for NGV Contemporary. The Jury includes Corbett Lyon, NGV Trustee and Director, Lyons Architecture (Jury Chair), Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV and Jill Garner AM, Victorian Government Architect and Director, Garner Davis Architects. The full NGV Contemporary Design Competition Jury will be announced at the opening of the Expression of Interest.

“NGV Contemporary will be a thriving hub for local, national and international design and architecture, presented alongside significant examples of contemporary art, fashion and performance,” said Tony Ellwood AM, Director, National Gallery of Victoria and NGV Contemporary Design Competition Jury member.

“It is therefore only fitting that NGV Contemporary will be designed and built by an Australian design and architecture team. This design competition presents an unprecedented opportunity to create a building of architectural significance that will become part of the fabric of our state and cultural identity.”

Registrations for the NGV Contemporary Design Competition are now open. The competition will be delivered through Development Victoria and Competition Advisors, CityLab. An honorarium will be provided to all competitors selected to progress to Stages One and Two of the design competition. For more information, to view guidelines and to register, visit: for details.

Image: Artist impression of NGV Contemporary (gallery building to be designed) viewed from the new public garden – courtesy of HASSELL + SO-IL