The South Australian government has announced it will be launching an international competition for the design of a new contemporary art gallery in Adelaide. The new space, to be called Adelaide Contemporary, will function as a second site for the established Art Gallery of South Australia.

The government-funded two-stage competition is set to officially launch in October. The first stage of the process invites architect-led teams to submit expressions of interest as part of an initial open global call. Up to six teams will be selected to progress through to the second stage, which will offer a “generous honorarium” for further concept development. Earlier in the year, the state government set aside $1.9 million for the competition in the state budget.

“The search for a team to drive this project forward is an exciting first step in what will be a game-changer for our state,” says Jay Weatherill, South Australia’s minister for the arts.

“To have an inspiring arts and cultural landmark will not only enliven public spaces and draw people into the Botanic Garden and Parklands, it will help build confidence in our ability to be a global innovator in this space.”

According to competition director, Malcolm Reading, the initiative is seeking architects with “outstanding creativity and connection with the project”, whether local or global.

The vision that has been expressed for Adelaide Contemporary is to establish a public and cultural space that integrates art, education, nature and people. A site for the project has been selected along Adelaide’s North Terrace boulevard, adjacent to the city’s Botanic Garden and close to the parent gallery. This high-profile location corresponds to the government’s intention to create a new landmark for the city.

“Celebrating South Australia’s rich cultural heritage along with its enthusiasm for innovation, Adelaide Contemporary is intended to act as a catalyst for change, using cultural activity to give Adelaide renewed presence nationally and internationally and generate new economic energies,” reads a statement on the competition director’s website.

An official launch date has yet to be announced for October. However, architects are now being invited to sign up for a launch notification on the competition’s holding site.