Woods Bagot and New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) have been shortlisted as one of six teams to redesign Adelaide Contemporary. Combining each firm’s significant experience in civic and cultural projects around the world, this collaboration will result in a premier arts destination for Adelaide—where Woods Bagot was founded 148 years ago.
The new building is slated to become both a new landmark on Adelaide’s celebrated North Terrace boulevard and a cultural hub by combining a contemporary art gallery with a public sculpture park and meeting place which will integrate art, education, and nature.
DS+R’s oeuvre includes the High Line, an adaptive overhaul of an obsolete, industrial rail in New York into a 1.5-mile-long public park; The Shed, an expandable, multi-arts space made possible with modernized gantry crane technology in New York; The Broad, a contemporary art museum utilizing a “veil-and-vault” structure in Los Angeles; and the renovation and expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Woods Bagot is synonymous with high-profile, award-winning projects in Australia, Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East and has delivered international projects for Apple, Google, and other iconic clients. One of its most notable projects in Adelaide is the South Australian Health and Medical Institute, which has been recognized by notable design, sustainability, and innovation awards.
The teams were selected by a panel comprised of representatives from the Art Gallery of South Australia, Arts South Australia, and the Office for Design and Architecture South Australia. The jury chair was Australian arts administer Michael Lynch, AO, CBE.
“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,” Nick Mitzevich, Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, said.
The conditions for the second stage of the competition have been formally endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects. The full competition jury is currently being confirmed, and will be announced in the New Year.
“Now we look to stage two of the competition and the brief for this unique art destination, which asks for a memorable building, physically and emotionally woven into the place and community,” said Malcolm Reading, the international design competition’s Director. “The teams have sixteen weeks to produce their designs and these will go on show to the public in April 2018.”
According to Adelaide Contemporary, the first stage of the competition attracted 107 teams made up of approximately 525 individual firms from five continents. The global call for interest was designed to encourage Australian as well as leading international practices—a condition of the competition is partnership with an Australian practice at stage two, which has already been fulfilled by the shortlisted teams.
A site visit for the finalists will be held in January 2018 and the teams will have until early April to produce concept designs. Each team will receive an honorarium of AU $90,000 for the teams’ competition work, which covers the concept design. Details of the public exhibition will follow in April 2018. The winner announcement is anticipated to be in early to mid-June 2018.