Jury Pick Winning Design For Adelaide Contemporary

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The winner of the Adelaide Contemporary Design Competition has been announced as Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot. The international competition jury said the winning design “presented a highly dynamic building for the future…which would create something truly unique for Adelaide”.

A place for all South Australians, Adelaide Contemporary, is set to be a new landmark on North Terrace. It is envisaged as a unique cultural destination physically and emotionally woven into the place and community. The building will showcase the treasures of South Australia’s State Collection and is intended to give a powerful boost to Adelaide’s creative economy.


The winning design features a suspended rooftop garden, a dramatic ground floor “super lobby” and floating top-floor sky galleries, along with nine flexible gallery spaces. The elevated garden open to the sky is inspired by the Kaurna concept of Minkunthi, meaning “to relax”, with planting of a pre-colonised South Australian landscape, linking the idea of the contemporary to the Kaurna ecological and cultural history.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro has an international track record with projects including The Broad in Los Angeles and The Shed and The High Line in New York, while Woods Bagot is responsible for the striking SAHMRI building and the Adelaide Convention Centre. Diller Scofidio + Renfro Partner Elizabeth Diller was recently listed in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, the only architect to be named on the 2018 list.

The two-stage competition commenced in 2017 and Expressions of Interest were received from 107 design teams, made up of over 525 firms across five continents. A shortlist of six teams was selected to proceed to the second stage to develop concept designs which are currently on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia.


International Jury Chair Michael Lynch AO CBE says:- “The design foregrounds South Australia’s exceptional collections and capitalises on the momentum of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s recent successes in celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture. The jury was impressed by the winning team’s assured understanding of the future of art, performance and 21st-century programming, as well as its flair for placemaking.”

The exhibition of the six finalist Adelaide Contemporary designs is open until 11 June. 

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