Experienced architects are invited to participate in an architectural competition to design the proposed Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) on a site adjacent to Victoria Park Lake, Shepparton. 

Organised by the Greater Shepparton Council, the competition presents an opportunity for architects to design a unique public building based on best-practice contemporary museum architecture on a site in regional Victoria.

Opening on Friday 29 July, the first stage of the two-stage competition endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects seeks expressions of interest from suitably qualified architects. The submissions will be evaluated by a seven-member jury, which will then select a shortlist of five entries. Shortlisted teams will be invited to develop a concept design for SAM in stage two. The jury comprises of professionals drawn from the arts, architecture/design, academia, Indigenous architecture and related industries. 

Each shortlisted team will be provided with a more detailed brief and paid an honorarium of $7,000 to assist with the development of the concept design.

In addition to a prize of $10,000, the winner will also receive a commission to work with the Greater Shepparton City Council and SAM stakeholders to further develop the design. Funding has been received from the Victorian State Government, Council and the SAM Foundation.

An announcement of $10 million was made by Minister for Regional Development and Nationals Deputy Leader Senator Fiona Nash when she visited Shepparton on 14 June towards the construction of a new SAM if the Coalition was returned to government. Council is awaiting formal confirmation.

Greater Shepparton City Council Director Community and Project Board Chair, Kaye Thomson said the winning architect will bring an inventive and thoughtful design strategy and the capacity to develop and deliver an outstanding project.

SAM Director, Dr Rebecca Coates said the museum’s curatorial program engages with its local context, while exploring contemporary themes that are global in their scope and ambitions. A key objective of the project is to foster a strong sense of engagement, ownership and pride for visitors and local audiences alike.

Coates added that the museum design competition presented an opportunity to celebrate and enhance the rich and diverse Shepparton community, which included the largest Aboriginal community in Victoria outside Melbourne as well as people from many parts of the world.

The design competition opens on Friday 29 July and closes at 4pm on Wednesday 31 August.