Here’s What We Know About Melbourne’s NGV Contemporary—Australia’s Largest Contemporary Art Museum

Nicole de Souza Nicole de Souza

southbank melbourne ngv

NGV Contemporary is set to be Australia’s largest museum for contemporary art and design.

When you visit Melbourne’s Southbank in the future, you’ll find NGV Contemporary. Covering 10 thousand square metres of exhibition space, this mammoth museum will showcase contemporary art, design, fashion and architecture. Four Aussie teams have been shortlisted for the design of this project, bringing us that little bit closer to making this gallery a reality.

NGV Contemporary

You’ll find this museum at 77 Southbank Boulevard, behind NGV International on St Kilda Road. It will have a year-round program of major contemporary exhibitions of global significance.

After the gallery is constructed, it will have 10 thousand square metres of exhibition space. On top of that, the gallery spaces will be flexible, so that NGV will present works at a large scale not currently possible at its existing sites at The Ian Potter Centre or on St Kilda Road.

“The new gallery is part of Australia’s largest ever cultural infrastructure project,” said Danny Pearson, Minister for Creative Industries.

“NGV Contemporary will be central to Australia’s cultural identity,” Tony Ellwood AM, the Director for National Gallery of Victoria reiterated.

NGV Contemporary Design Competition

Four architectural and multi-disciplinary design teams have been shortlisted to design NGV Contemporary. These designs were chosen by the NGV Contemporary Design Competition Jury for their innovation, consideration of sustainability and connection to place.

“This design competition offers an extraordinary opportunity to support our country’s local design and architecture sector,” Ellwood said.

The shortlisted teams are: John Wardle Architects, Field, Angelo Candalepas and Associates, and Open Weave.

These Australian teams will further develop their concepts in the final stage of the design competition. After that, a successful team will be announced in early 2022. Then, they’ll get to work on bringing this concept to life.

The Future

The gallery will be set inside an expansive, 18 thousand square metre public garden about the size of the MCG. This public garden will stretch from NGV Contemporary in the south all the way up north to the Yarra River. You’ll find immersive gardens, integrated artworks, creative performances and more in this new public space.

Meanwhile, the new gallery is expected to strengthen public interest in the arts. Before the pandemic, NGV had over three million visitors a year across its two locations. When NGV Contemporary is complete, they expect this number to increase to four million visitors.

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