NGV Contemporary: Australia’s new home for contemporary art and design

NGV Contemporary will be a landmark gallery that celebrates the central role of art and design in contemporary life and culture. With more than 10,000 square metres of exhibition space, it will be the largest museum of contemporary art and design in Australia. Located in the heart of the re-imagined Melbourne Arts Precinct, NGV Contemporary will amplify Melbourne’s leadership position as a global centre of architectural excellence, art, design, and creative innovation.

The NGV Contemporary Design Competition seeks visionary, sustainable and dynamic design approaches from a multidisciplinary Australian design team, offering an unparalleled platform to showcase Australia’s world-leading design and architecture industries.

Australian architects are now invited to register their interest for the NGV Contemporary Design Competition.

Read the Victorian Premier’s Media Announcement

About NGV Contemporary

Project Aspirations | Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation

Located at 77 Southbank Boulevard, Melbourne, NGV Contemporary will be dedicated to showcasing contemporary art, design, fashion and architecture of local, national and international significance.

PROJECT ASPIRATIONS

Rethinking how we engage with art

NGV Contemporary will be a place to explore new possibilities for the presentation and interpretation of art and design. It will celebrate what art and design can be, reward curiosity and open new ways of thinking about ourselves and the world in which we live.

Conversations and collaborations

NGV Contemporary will be a gallery that embraces change. It will take its lead from contemporary practitioners. It will be generative, dynamic and alive, rich with collaboration and encourage conversations to flow across boundaries as artists and designers respond to the world around them. The gallery will work with, and for, artists and designers, researchers, educators and students, government, industry bodies and the community.

Traditional Owners and First Nations Peoples

The NGV acknowledges all of the Traditional Owners of the place now called Victoria, and all First Nations Peoples living and working on this land. We celebrate the history and contemporary creativity of the world’s oldest living culture and pay respect to Elders – past, present and future.

The NGV is committed to engaging with the Traditional Owners of Southbank and First Nations Peoples working across the creative arts. Engagement with Traditional Owners and First Nations Peoples on the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation is already underway.

From the intimate to the epic

NGV Contemporary’s primary function is to give people an extraordinary experience of contemporary art and design. Major exhibitions, large-scale commissions, thematic shows, collection displays and solo presentations will offer a wide range of experiences. It will be a place to discuss, debate and reveal contemporary issues. It should also uplift and inspire — even wow – from the moment visitors walk in the door.

A civic and social space for all

NGV Contemporary will be open, inclusive, active and create spaces for a profound civic life. It will be a place where the social character of cultural experience can happen and encourage audiences to recognise the vital part that art and design play in shaping the world.

Beyond galleries – education, hospitality, retail and more

NGV Contemporary will be a purpose-built home for Victoria’s growing collection of contemporary art and design, and will provide a generous and holistic gallery experience that encompasses hospitality, retail, learning, participation, social interaction and relaxation. NGV Contemporary will connect artists, designers and audiences in a dynamic and evolving dialogue, now and into the future.

Connected to the wider precinct

NGV Contemporary will be a new landmark for Melbourne, presenting an extraordinary opportunity to re-envision the ways in which the gallery connects to the wider Melbourne Arts Precinct. The Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation project will unite Melbourne’s creative heart, improve connections between Southbank and the city and increase visitation across the precinct. It is an opportunity for the precinct to come together into a dynamic whole – a long-held aspiration for this corner of the city.

Sustainability

As a gallery of the 21st century, NGV Contemporary will plan for a resource-constrained world and a changing climate. Material choice and smart systems that produce energy and conserve water will ensure the gallery is resilient and adaptive.


MELBOURNE ARTS PRECINCT TRANSFORMATION

The precinct and NGV’s enhanced presence

Melbourne Arts Precinct is home to one of the highest concentrations of arts, cultural and creative organisations anywhere in the world, and welcomes millions of visitors to more than 3000 performances and exhibitions each year.

The Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation is a city-shaping State government initiative that will cement Melbourne’s position as a global creative city, enhance our thriving creative and visitor economies, and benefit artists and creatives, visitors, residents and Melbourne’s international reputation. Exciting new attractions such as NGV Contemporary will drive further visitation to and engagement with the creative industries and cultural institutions.

A new garden for Melbourne

The cornerstone of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation is an expansive 18,000 square metres of new elevated public gardens designed by Hassell (AUS) and SO – IL (USA), with horticulture and planting design experts James Hitchmough and Nigel Dunnett (UK).

From NGV Contemporary in the south to Birrarung (Yarra River) in the north, this new public space will bring the excitement, colour and inspiration from inside theatres and galleries into the outdoors. Immersive gardens with integrated artworks, creative activations and performance and gathering spaces will complement the precinct’s new and existing facilities and bring the new public spaces to life.

Further information on the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation click here

Supporting Australian Design

Competition Objectives | Competition Advisor | Jury | Delivery Agency

In an unprecedented move for a competition of this scale and civic profile the NGV Contemporary Design Competition is open to Australian architecture teams offering an unparalleled platform to showcase Australia’s world-leading design and architecture industries.

COMPETITION OBJECTIVES

Leadership in Australian design

The NGV is committed to Australian architecture and design. This commitment is expressed through an ambitious collecting and commissioning strategy, and through the presentation of ground-breaking design and architecture exhibitions and events including Melbourne Design Week and NGV Architecture Commission.

The competition celebrates Australia’s world-class architecture and design capabilities and invests significantly in local talent. Through design and construction NGV Contemporary will provide a long-lasting impact on the local design and architecture industry.

Searching for design excellence

A project of this prominence and importance to Victoria deserves the very best architecture and design Australia can produce. This is a city-shaping opportunity to deliver the highest possible quality for its users, the city and the environment.

Collaborative and cross-disciplinary

The NGV Contemporary Design Competition encourages creative collaboration and embraces diversity of expertise and experience. The design brief is layered and complex and requires a diverse range of design professionals to fully exploit its opportunities.

Local industry engagement

Now more than ever the local design and built environment economy needs support and encouragement. The competition calls for proposals that maximise the opportunities for this project to contribute positively to the local economy, industry and jobs. NGV Contemporary will be a global architectural landmark that demonstrates the skill and capability of the local design industry.

This Project is classified as a Strategic Project, which is subject to minimum local content requirements. Consistent with this, and in support of the local design industry, the Competition requires Competitors to commit to achieving a minimum percentage of fees under the Contract going directly to Australian firms, capping international participation.

Support for a wide range of design practices

NGV Contemporary requires significant experience and capability from those primarily responsible for its design and delivery. The competition also encourages collaborative engagement with specialists, emerging design leaders and innovators to meet NGV Contemporary’s future needs.


COMPETITION ADVISOR

Andrew Mackenzie, CityLab, has been engaged as the NGV Contemporary Competition Advisor.


JURY

The NGV Contemporary Design Competition submissions will be reviewed by a jury of high profile and esteemed international and local design and architecture experts and professionals, including Corbett Lyon (Jury Chair), Tony Ellwood AM and Jill Garner AM. The jury will assess the submissions and make recommendations for Victorian Government consideration.

The full NGV Contemporary Design Competition jury will be announced ahead of the opening of the Expression of Interest stage.

Corbett Lyon, Chair
NGV Trustee and Director, Lyons Architecture

Corbett Lyon is an Australian architect, art patron and academic who lives and works in Melbourne. He is a founding director of Melbourne architectural firm Lyons. Lyons has designed many award-winning institutional and public buildings in Australia. He is a Trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria and has been a member of the Victorian Government’s Design Review Panel.

Tony Ellwood AM
Director, NGV

Tony Ellwood AM is the Director of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and a leading figure in the Australian arts sector. He began his career as an Aboriginal Art Coordinator at Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, Kununurra; then as a Curator at the NGV. He was Director, Bendigo Art Gallery; Deputy Director – International Art, NGV and Director of the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) prior to returning to the NGV as Director in 2012. Under Tony Ellwood’s stewardship, the National Gallery of Victoria has become the most visited gallery in the country.

Jill Garner AM
Victorian Government Architect and Principal, Garner Davis Architects

Jill Garner AM became the Victorian Government Architect in 2015, stepping into a role as public advocate for architecture and design after more than twenty years in practice. Her practice – Garner Davis Architects – has received numerous industry awards for works ranging from residential to public buildings. As a design advisor in government, she strongly promotes the value of contextual, integrated design thinking and a collaborative approach across design disciplines.


DELIVERY AGENCY

The NGV Contemporary delivery agency is Development Victoria.

About the Competition

Registration | Competition Structure | Timeline | Honoraria | Eligibility

Registration

Registration for the NGV Contemporary Design Competition is now open for Australian Architects, Architectural Companies and Architectural Partnerships. Registration is a prerequisite to participating in the competition.

Registrants will be invited to participate in the Expression of Interest.

Registrations will close at 2pm AEDT on Tuesday 9 March 2021.

COMPETITION STRUCTURE

The NGV Contemporary Design Competition incorporates a two-part Expression of Interest (EoI) and a two-part design competition. The EoI will focus on task appreciation, methodology, team, track record and risk compliance. The design competition will focus on design responses.

Registrants will be invited to form teams to participate in EoI Part A. Services sought at EoI Part A include architecture, interior design, urban design, and landscape architecture.

A target of twelve competitor teams will be longlisted to progress to EoI Part B, where competitor teams will include sustainability and engineering services disciplines (structural, civil, mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and fire engineering).

At the completion of EoI Part B, a target of eight competitor teams will progress to first stage of the design competition. Competitor teams participating in the first stage of the design competition will present an initial design concept.

A target of up to four competitor teams will be selected to progress to the second stage of the design competition. Competitor teams participating in the second stage of the design competition will undertake to more fully develop their design concepts. A positive guidance workshop will be held midway through this stage.

At the completion of the second stage the jury will provide their advice for Victoria Government consideration with a successful design team and preferred design announced in Summer 2021/22.


TIMELINE

Registration will close on 9 March 2021
EoI Part A commences on 2 March 2021
EoI Part B commences May 2021
Design Competition Stage One commences third quarter 2021
Design Competition Stage Two commences third quarter 2021
NGV Contemporary design team announced in summer 2021/22


HONORARIA

An honorarium is provided to all competitors selected to progress to Stages One and Two of the design competition.


ELIGIBILITY

In order to register you must be an Australian practising Architect. Registration does not automatically qualify a registrant as eligible. To be eligible to participate in the NGV Contemporary Design Competition, competitor teams must meet all the below listed eligibility criteria.

A single architecture practice may fulfil all requirements, alternatively two or more practices may separately fulfil the requirements. The eligibility criteria will be assessed as part of the EoI process.

Design Lead

  • be a Practising Architect, Architectural Company or Architectural Partnership within Australia for no less than ten years, and eligible to register as an architect in Victoria, Australia pursuant to the Architects Act 1991 (Vic); and
  • has demonstrated public sector experience as project architect.

Anchor Practice

  • be a Practising Architect, Architectural Company or Architectural Partnership within Australia for no less than ten years, and eligible to register as an architect in Victoria, Australia pursuant to the Architects Act 1991 (Vic); and
  • have no less than 30 staff (FTE) in Australia; and
  • have provided lead design services for the key phases of the project lifecycle on a project with a construction budget of no less than AUD$100m.

Victorian Participation Requirement

  • a minimum of one of the competitor team members must provide a location (or locations) where that entity has carried on business for no less than 12 months. This address must be a street address in Victoria (not a post office box address); and
  • the successful design team will need to commit to running the principal NGV Contemporary project design studio in Melbourne.

Register Your Interest

Registration for the NGV Contemporary Design Competition is now open for Australian Architects, Architectural Companies and Architectural Partnerships. Registration is a prerequisite to participating in the competition.

The registration period closes at 2pm AEDT on Tuesday 9 March 2021.

Registrants will be invited to participate in the Expression of Interest. Please allow five working days for confirmed acceptance of your registration.

To register your interest download, complete and attach the following Confidentiality Deed Poll to your Registration .

DOWNLOAD CONFIDENTIALITY DEED REGISTER NOW

Frequently Asked Questions

Registration | Competition Rules and Conditions | Updates

The following information is general in nature and specific to registration. Full information in relation to the competition will be provided to registrants at the opening of Expression of Interest.

REGISTRATION

R1. Why do I need to register my interest?

Information about the NGV Contemporary Design Competition is confidential and only intended for Australian registered practising Architects who could form part of a team.

R2. Why do I have to sign a Confidentiality Deed Poll?

As a competitor you will be provided with information that is confidential. You cannot proceed to Expression of Interest without signing a Confidentiality Deed Poll.

R3. What are the requirements for Registration?

Practising Australian Architects, Architectural Companies and Architectural Partnerships are invited to register for the NGV Contemporary design competition. Registration is a prerequisite to participating in the competition. See Register Your Interest above.

R4. I am a registered practising Architect in a small practice can I enter the competition?

This competition has been structured to embrace a wide diversity of multi-disciplinary and collaborative practices. As such all architects are encouraged to engage with the competition, and if they do not meet the eligibility criteria themselves, explore opportunities to team up with other practices that meet eligibility criteria.

R5. I’m not an Architect, can I register?

No.

R6. I am an Architect based outside of Australia, can I register?

No.

R7. Do I need to have put together and confirmed my competitor team before registering?

No. Registration is used for the sole purpose of managing the confidentiality of competition materials that are supplied to interested parties. Registration does not require you to provide any information about your competitor team.

R8. How long does it take to process my registration?

The standard timeframe to process registration forms is five business days excluding public holidays. Registrants will receive an email confirming successful registration.

Architects are encouraged to register early.

R9. Will I be notified if my registration is unsuccessful?

Yes, you will be notified if your registration requires more information or is unsuccessful. All concerns must be resolved within five business days of registration close date.

Please ensure that your registration is lodged in good time prior to registration close date.

R10. Do I have to be a Lead or Anchor practice to register for the Competition?

No. You need to be a registered practising Australian Architect to register.

COMPETITION RULES AND CONDITIONS

CRC1. What does an Australian competition mean?

In addition to the eligibility criteria, an Australian competition is defined as having a minimum percentage of contract fees for design services going directly to Australian businesses and remaining onshore. Australian businesses are companies that have been registered in Australia for more than 12 months.

CRC2. I am not an Australian Architect, can I participate in the competition?

Yes. An international Architecture practice can participate as part of a Competitor Team, however this Project is classified as a Strategic Project, which is subject to minimum local content requirements. Consistent with this, and in support of the local design industry, the Competition requires Competitors to commit to achieving a minimum percentage of fees under the Contract going directly to Australian firms, as such international participation is capped.

CRC3. I am an Architect based outside of Australia. Should I partner with a local practice or can I enter by myself?

Any international practice will need to partner with an Australian architecture practice.

CRC4. I am an artist and am interested in being involved. How do I participate in this competition?

As the NGV already has extensive resources and experience in this area, and the focus of the competition is on the procurement of design services, it is recommended that competitor teams do not include independent artists, curators or arts consultants.

CRC5. Can I enter as part of a joint venture, consortium or partnership?

A competitor shall be the person, body corporate or other legal entity nominated in the submission as the proposed consultant. To the extent that the competitor is comprised of a joint venture, consortium, partnership or group of legal entities, a competitor includes all of the persons, bodies corporate or other legal entities that form part of such joint venture, consortium, partnership or group of legal entities. Details of the legal structure of the competitor must be provided as part of the submission.

CRC6. How do I join a team?

It is each parties responsibility to either form a team or join an existing team. The competition organisers have no role in assisting this process.

CRC7. Can I join more than one team?

Design lead and anchor practices can only enter the competition in one team at EoI Part A. EoI Part B competitor team members (sustainability and engineering services disciplines) must not be bound into exclusivity agreements.

CRC8. What is the timeline of the design competition?

The Expression of Interest phase commences in March 2021. The successful design team is expected to be announced in summer 2021/22.

CRC9. What are the competition stages?

The NGV Contemporary Design Competition incorporates a two-part Expression of Interest (EoI) and a two-part design competition. The EoI will focus on task appreciation, methodology, team, track record and risk compliance. The design competition will focus on design. See About the Competition above for more detail.

CRC10. What services are sought at EoI Part A?

Services sought at EoI Part A include architecture, interior design, urban design, and landscape architecture.

CRC11. What services are sought at EoI Part B?

Services sought at EoI Part B include but are not limited to sustainability and engineering services disciplines (structural, civil, mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and fire engineering).

CRC12. How will the competition be judged?

An independent peer Jury made up of Australian and International design professionals will assess the submissions and make recommendations for Victorian Government consideration.Jury membership will be advised ahead of the commencement of the Expression of Interest.

CRC13. What is the Australian Institute of Architects involvement?

The Australian Institute of Architects and the project team are working closely together to review the final competition documentation with a view to competition endorsement.

CRC14. Are participants remunerated?

Competitors participating in Stage One and Stage Two of the design competition will be provided an honorarium. Honoraria amounts will be released at Expression of Interest phase.

CRC15. What is the budget for NGV Contemporary?

Please refer to the 2020-21 State Budget announcement for the overall investment in the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation – Phase 1. A more detailed budget will be provided to competitors later in the competition process.

CRC16. Who is responsible for the project?

Development Victoria is the delivery agency for NGV Contemporary.

CRC17. Who is designing the Melbourne Arts Precinct public realm?

Hassell (AUS) and SO – IL (USA), with horticulture and planting design experts James Hitchmough and Nigel Dunnett (UK) have been appointed as the design team of the public spaces in the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation.

CRC18. Is the site finalised, or can we propose alternative sites?

The location of the site is final. Suggestion of alternative sites should not be entertained nor included in any proposals.

UPDATES

Please note the following FAQ updates:

4.02.21
Amendedment to FAQ R4, CRC6
New FAQ R7, CRC4, CRC5, CRC10, CRC11