Six architectural teams – made up of 13 individual practices from around the world – have made the shortlist for the Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition.

The first stage of the competition, which seeks the design for a “landmark” contemporary art gallery for Adelaide’s North Terrace cultural precinct, attracted 107 entries made up of 525 practices from five continents. The shortlisted teams come from as far as Denmark, America and Japan – all of which have partnered with at least one Australian practice as per competition requirements.

A competition selection panel comprising representatives from Arts South Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Office for Design and Architecture South Australia chose the successful teams in a unanimous decision.

“The global interest in the competition is a vote of confidence in Adelaide Contemporary and a heartening indication of Adelaide’s standing worldwide,” says Peter Louca, executive director of Arts South Australia.

“The selection panel had the toughest call – to sift just six teams from what was evidently a very strong field. It will be exciting to see their various approaches to designing an art space of this type for Adelaide.”

The six teams currently in the running for Adelaide Contemporary are:

  • Adjaye Associates (London, UK) and BVN (Sydney, Australia)
  • BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen, Denmark) and JPE Design Studio (Adelaide, Australia)
  • David Chipperfield Architects (London, UK) and SJB Architects (Sydney, Australia)
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York, USA) and Woods Bagot (Adelaide, Australia)
  • HASSELL (Adelaide and Melbourne, Australia) and SO-IL (New York, USA)
  • Khai Liew (Adelaide, Australia), Office of Ryue Nishizawa (Tokyo, Japan) and Durbach Block Jaggers (Sydney, Australia)

According to the director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Nick Mitzekvich, the teams that were selected to progress to the second competition stage demonstrated a deep understanding of Adelaide’s unique cultural language.

“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,” says Mitzevich.

“This is an extraordinarily rich list of diverse creative partnerships of architects looking to complement their talents by working with peers and smaller talented practices. The final decision was very demanding, but these are the teams that convinced us through the outstanding quality of their submissions.”

Once complete, Adelaide Contemporary will sit on the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site, next to both the Adelaide Botanic Garden and the Art Gallery of South Australia. The new gallery will form a key part of the push to cement North Terrace’s reputation as an innovative, mixed-use contemporary urban quarter.

All of the shortlisted teams will undertake a site visit in January, and will have from then until early April to submit their concept designs. At this second competition stage, each team will receive an honorarium of $90,000 to help them progress their vision.

A winner is expected to be announced in June next year, with the successful design subject to funding approval by the South Australian government.