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Winning design chosen for Adelaide’s new arts and cultural hub
Arts South Australia has announced that a joint entry from architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro - also responsible for a recent expansion at New York's Museum of Modern Art - and Adelaide company Woods Bagot have won the Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition.
The global search for a team to design a new arts and cultural hub on the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site on North Terrace led to the choosing of a concept described as a "dynamic, people-friendly place with an expertly designed gallery".
Design features include a ground floor ‘super lobby’, nine gallery spaces, floating top-floor sky galleries and a suspended rooftop garden.
Local flora, present before South Australia's colonisation, will feature in the garden as a nod to the Kaurna people's concept of Minkunthi - meaning "to relax".
Diller Scofidio + Renfro partner Charles Renfro said the design is aimed at "celebrating the city's world-class cultural offerings from its vibrant festival scene, to its diverse art collection, distinguished by its outstanding holdings of Aboriginal work".
Renfro added “our approach will coalesce museum, city and gardens into a new arts centre that welcomes everyone, that provides a curatorial tool box which anticipates the future of culture.
"The new gallery and public sculpture park is envisaged as one of the most significant new arts initiatives of 21st century Australia, providing a national focal point for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and cultures as well as new spaces for major exhibitions, and the opportunity to unlock the hidden treasures of South Australia's state collections."
Woods Bagot's Chief Executive Nik Karalis called the winning joint entry "a magnificent example of international collaboration".
He advised "Adelaide Contemporary will be a key cultural institution for the state of South Australia, and we're thrilled to bring this relationship to a project of such significance.”
Woods Bagot is also responsible for the SAHMRI building and the Adelaide Convention Centre.
The competition, organised by architectural competition firm Malcolm Reading Consultants, ran in two stages from 2017, attracting expressions of interest from 107 design teams from more than 525 global firms.
Six teams were shortlisted to produce concept designs, which were then judged by an international jury of nine people.
The estimated project budget is $250 million, which needs final funding approval from the South Australian Government.
Upon its launch, the project was championed by the former South Australian Government, however, the current Liberal Government has hit pause on gallery plans.
The Liberal party went to the March state election promising to develop a national Aboriginal art and culture gallery, whereas Labor promised a contemporary art gallery.
In late May, Premier Steven Marshall said he was negotiating with South Australia's key cultural institutions - the Art Gallery of SA, the SA Museum and Tandanya - about what form the gallery will take.
Images: The winning design for an art gallery building on the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site (top), concept design of the interior of the new art gallery (middle) and inside the proposed art gallery building (below). Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot.
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