NGV reveals 2016 Architecture Commission: Haven’t you always wanted…?

NGV 2016 Architecture Commission photo by Sean FennessyReimagining a familiar destination, the 2016 NGV Architecture Commission been revealed in the National Gallery of Victoria Grollo Equiset Garden – a playful reinvention of the suburban car wash.

Titled Haven’t you always wanted…? the ephemeral structure is designed by Melbourne-based M@ STUDIO Architects, with dimensions taken directly from an existing car wash in Blackburn, transplanting an object of everyday use and familiarity into the unfamiliar surroundings of an art gallery.

Transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary, in place of cement and fluorescent lighting, the structure has a lightweight steel body with walls made of layered cricket netting and a translucent polycarbonate roof, which shimmer and shift from different perspectives. The design includes five neon pink astroturf car lanes, complete with rubberised waves and road markings, topped with a mirrored ‘car wash’ sign.

The commission explores the scale and appearance of the suburban landscape and invites visitors to think about building on the urban fringe, where retail outlets and supermarkets often form the basis of town centres. Through the work, M@ STUDIO Architects highlight their interest in exploring new models for the design of Melbourne’s outer suburbs, and the value of design in facilitating community engagement with the natural and built environment.

“The NGV Architecture Commission has quickly become an iconic space for Melburnians, and this year’s design by M@ STUDIO Architects is sure to ignite the imaginations of visitors,” said Tony Ellwood, Director NGV. “A dreamlike interpretation of the suburban car wash, it will offer an interactive structure for all to enjoy over spring and summer.”

Haven’t you always wanted…?
Grollo Equiset Garden – NGV International, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Installation on display through to April 2017
Free admission

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Installation view of the 2016 Architecture Commission at NGV – photo by Sean Fennessy