Adelaide Contemporary Competition winner announced

7 June 2018
  • Diller  Scofidio  +  Renfro/Woods  Bagot
  • Diller  Scofidio  +  Renfro/Woods  Bagot
  • Diller  Scofidio  +  Renfro/Woods  Bagot
  • Diller  Scofidio  +  Renfro/Woods  Bagot
  • Diller  Scofidio  +  Renfro/Woods  Bagot

Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Woods Bagot




Diller Scofidio + Renfro & Woods Bagot impress jury with welcoming design

Last year, Arts South Australia and Malcolm Reading Consultants launched the Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition to find a concept for an art gallery, sculpture park and community meeting place located on a former hospital site. The contest attracted submissions from 107 teams made up of 525 individual firms. Now, the winning team has been announced as Diller Scofidio + Renfro (US) with Woods Bagot (Australia), who impressed the jury with a concept reconciling the brief’s specifications for a dynamic people-friendly space and a skilfully-organised gallery.

Adelaide is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people and the project site, adjacent to the Botanic Gardens, is rich in Kaurna heritage. The winning design includes a suspended rooftop garden, inspired by ‘Minkunthi’, the Kaurna word ‘to relax’, which will display the planting of a pre-colonised South Australian landscape. Michael Lynch AO CBE, chair of the jury and the Art Gallery of South Australia Board’s Special Advisor, stated: “It was an inspired insight by the winning team to conceive the building stepping down along the topography of the site and so creating a genuine connection to site and Country, respectful to the Kaurna people as well as integrating the Botanic Garden into the design.”

The gallery is divided into underground areas with controlled lighting, day-lit upper galleries and a lobby at ground level connecting the city and garden. This approach was adopted by the design team in order to create a building that reflected the sky by day and glowed at night, allowing passers-by to glimpse the art collection outside opening times. Charles Renfro, Partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, said: “Our approach will coalesce museum, city and gardens into a new arts centre that welcomes everyone, that provides a curatorial tool box which anticipates the future of culture.”

Lucy Nordberg

TenderStream Head of Research

This competition was first published by TenderStream on 20.10.2017. See the original brief here

Start your free trial here or email our team directly at

Subscribe Now