14.05.2018Adelaide Contemporary

Proposals for a new contemporary art gallery in Adelaide, Southern Australia, go on display from 14 May until 10 June. David Chipperfield Architects + SJB with Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture is one of six teams shortlisted for the project.


Forming a key part of the city’s cultural and civic corridor along North Terrace, the Adelaide Contemporary will complement its parent institution, the Art Gallery of South Australia, where the shortlisted designs will be on show. The winner will be announced later this year.


"The museum plays an increasingly important role in modern society. They are places of sanctuary and a refuge from distractions of daily life, but they are also places of meeting and the exchange of ideas. Besides housing objects and images, they allow for dialogue and interaction.


Contemporary art is increasingly concerned with ideas and issues about our environment, our politics, and issues of gender and race. The contemporary art museum must provide a framework for the static; a place for reflection and thought, and the dynamic; a place for events, debate, and the exchange of ideas. The modern museum has to reach out to a larger audience and in doing so should appeal to a wider demographic without losing its central purpose to open our minds and stimulate our curiosity.


Our project for the Adelaide Contemporary attempts to make a public building that is friendly and inviting. The enclosing and exclusive tendencies of museums are challenged by a building that is both protective and open, sophisticated and simple. The enclosing timber screens and facades soften the potential monumentality of the museum while the sloping roofs make a welcoming gesture.


The building stands where the city meets the park and reaches out to both. The main entrance court creates an impressive approach from North Terrace. The organisation of the building and its very character is stimulated by its unique relationship to the Botanic Gardens. The building exploits its privileged location through its transparency and an opening-up to the garden courtyards on either side. Concerned with endowing the new gallery building with qualities beyond the white box, we adopted a timber construction that imposes strong and unique character while offering the flexibility necessary for a contemporary museum."


— David Chipperfield