Angelo Candalepas and Associates’ winning design for the NGV Contemporary has been unveiled by the Victorian Government and the National Gallery of Victoria, which upon completion will become Australia’s largest gallery dedicated to contemporary art and design, spanning 30,000 square metres.
The vision for the project features dramatic arched entries, a spherical hall spanning more than 40-metres high and more than 13,000 square metres of display space for art and design, including exhibition galleries and an expansive rooftop terrace and sculpture garden with stunning vistas of Melbourne.
Upon arrival to the gallery, visitors will bear witness to the visually arresting omphalos (the Ancient Greek word for the centre of the earth): a central spherical hall that soars more than 40 metres upwards through all levels of the building, connecting to a lantern in the sky. The hall will comprise a number of large-scale artworks, and give visitors the ability to move through the building via a spiralling pathway.
The eastern facade of the building incorporates a multi-level veranda that doubles as an external pathway between levels. A large cafe connected to the parklands and a new NGV design store have been included as part of the gallery spaces. A rooftop terrace and sculpture garden offer first rate views of the Melbourne CBD, parklands and Yarra Ranges.
“This state-of-the-art gallery will be a globally recognised cultural icon right here in Victoria and generate thousands of local jobs in design, construction and over its life,” says Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews.
Exhibition and educational spaces, studios and laboratories make for a truly world-class art gallery. Pathways through the building connect the parklands to Southbank, with the gallery to unify the surrounding Melbourne Arts Precinct through the reshaping of the urban experience. Candalepas’ design provides a generous and highly accessible building, with large arched public entries from the new public parkland, Southbank Boulevard and the corner of Kavanagh Street. The Lead Architect says the building will remain a cultural icon for centuries.
“Melbourne is the cultural capital of this nation and NGV Contemporary marks its next great offering to the world. Art and design matters to all Australians: it speaks to who we are as a community. This project signals Australia as a great contemporary nation with a significant creative force. This building will be a beacon of the culture of our time,” he says.
“I hope NGV Contemporary will personally and emotionally resonate with all members of our rich and diverse community and deepen their understanding of the possibilities of human creativity.”
NGV Contemporary is the centrepiece of the Victorian Government’s $1.7 billion Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation. The gallery will strengthen the NGV’s reputation for promoting local and international art and design at its existing galleries – NGV International and The Ian Potter Centre.
“Australian architecture and design is of great interest around the world – Angelo Candalepas and Associates’ NGV Contemporary will be an intriguing new landmark showcasing how architecture can respond to and enhance the cultural history and life of our city. This concept embeds a vision to harness and nurture a spirit of creative communication, collaboration and engagement,” says Victorian Government Architect and NGV Contemporary Design Competition Jury Member, Jill Garner AM.
The full winning design team includes Angelo Candalepas and Associates, ASPECT Studios, BoardGrove Architects, Richard Stampton Architects, Carr, Andy Fergus Design Strategy, Steensen Varming + Mott MacDonald, Taylor Thomson Whitting (TTW), Freeman Ryan Design and AX Interactive.