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2017 NGV Architecture Commission Design Competition


The NGV invites all architects registered within Australia to participate in the 2017 NGV Architecture Commission Design Competition. The competition has two-stages: an anonymous Stage One calls for high level design proposals, then up to five Stage One submissions will be shortlisted to proceed to a paid Stage Two.

Competitors are encouraged to collaborate with other cultural, creative and industry professionals, both within Australia and beyond, and to engage with the dynamic global forces that are shaping the world around us.

The Commission
This series of architecture commissions offer the opportunity for emerging and established design professionals to present innovative temporary projects at the NGV. It was launched with an inaugural installation in 2015 by John Wardle Architects, inspired by the swooping iconic arch of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. This was followed in 2016 by M@Studio Architects and their playful reinvention of the suburban car wash.

The 2017 NGV Architecture Commission seeks to explore and reveal progressive thinking and approaches to activation and audience engagement; materials and systems; manufacturing and fabrication; technology; sustainability; and cultural resonance.

Competitors are encouraged to explore the global and inter-disciplinary nature of architecture as a creative enterprise, emphasising the intersections and resonance between and across design, art and adjacent sectors.

2017 Brief
Bridging architecture, landscape, and other fields of design, the 2017 Commission asks architects and designers to consider progressive ways in which the practice and outputs of architecture might activate one of Melbourne’s most loved spaces – the Grollo Equiset Garden at NGV International – with an evocative and thought-provoking work of temporary architecture.

This work could be many things. It could offer an excuse for play, invite immersion and shelter, offer participation, activation or reflection. It should offer a new perspective on architecture, as a culturally and socially engaged practice – a way of thinking and a process of cultural production.

It is also vital that the 2017 NGV Architecture Commission responds thoughtfully to the cultural and social context of this unique site. Through a creative engagement with the garden, it should inspire a local audience while embracing the wider fields of global thinking.

Rather than being simply an inert structure or form, the NGV’s vision is for a work of architecture that is fundamentally participatory or interactive in nature – so as to offer opportunities for engagement and joy from diverse audiences.

The 2017 NGV Architecture Commission forms part of the Victorian Design Program – an initiative of the Victorian Government.

Competition Jury

  • Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect (Chair)
  • Corbett Lyon, Architect and NGV Trustee
  • Ewan McEoin, Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture, National Gallery of Victoria
  • Amy Muir, Academic, scholar and critic
  • Naomi Stead,  Academic, scholar and critic
  • SueAnne Ware, Educator, academic and critic

The NGV Architecture Commission Design Competition process is developed and delivered by City Lab.

Registrations period 25 Jan – 6 Mar 2017
Questions period  1 Feb – 6 Mar 2017
Stage One 1 Feb – 13 Mar 2017

Register here



The NGV Garden is generously supported by Loris Orthwein.
The NGV Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture is supported by The Hugh D.T. Williamson Foundation.