Adelaide Contemporary Art Museum Winner Announced

 


Winning entry © Diller Scofidio Renfro

 

 

Diller Scofidio Renfro’s solid and compelling design for Adelaide’s new Museum of Contemporary Art prevailed over a strong field of five international teams. As a high-profile project, it could come as no surprise that the original RfQ drew 107 teams including over 500 firms—before the shortlisting process whittled a list of finalists down to six teams. This organization format occurred under the guidance of the professional adviser, Malcolm Reading Consultants.

 

All of the finalists had considerable experience in museum design; so this exercise would be interesting to see how much of each team’s history would appear in their final presentations. The size of the compensation package for each team—$80,000 upon design submission—although probably not sufficient to totally cover the cost of producing the required presentation materials, was certainly enough to guarantee a concerted effort by each team.

 

The shortlisted teams were:

 

  • Adjaye Associates and BVNwith McGregor Coxall, Steensen Varming, Plan A Consultants, Barbara Flynn, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Aurecon Group and Front Inc
  • BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and JPE Design Studiowith United Natures, Arketype, BuildSurv, Virtual Built, Future Urban Group, Lewis Yerloburka O’Brien, Marijana Tadic, Erica Green, Peter Dungey, Brian Parkes and Lindy Lee
  • David Chipperfield Architects and SJB Architectswith Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture and Arup Lighting
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagotwith Oculus, Pentagram, Right Angle Studio, Klynton Wanganeen, Dustin Yellin, Studio Adrien Gardère, Australian Dance Theatre, Deloitte, Ekistics and Katnich Dodd
  • HASSELL and SO-ILwith Ali Cobby Eckermann, Arup, Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, Fabio Ongarato Design, Fiona Hall and Mosbach Paysagistes
  • Khai Liew, Office of Ryue Nishizawa and Durbach Block Jaggerswith Masako Yamazaki, Mark Richardson, Arup, Irma Boom, Taylor Cullity Lethlean and URPS

 

The composition of the jury was notable for its strong participation of local stakeholders. Only two international architects were impaneled, Toshiko Mori (Harvard GSD), and landscape architect, Walter Hood (Hood Design Studio, Oakland, California). The jury consisted of:

 

  • Michael Lynch AO CBE (Chair),Chair, Sydney Community Foundation and Chair, Circa
  • Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin,Deputy Chair, Australia Council for the Arts, Managing Director, L-AB & Associates and Executive, Aboriginal Strategy, South Australian Film Corporation
  • Beatrice Galilee,Daniel Brodsky Associate Curator of Architecture and Design, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Walter Hood,Creative Director and Founder, Hood Design Studio
  • David Knox,Deputy Chair, Economic Development Board of South Australia and Member, Adelaide Botanic Gardens Foundation Committee
  • Toshiko Mori,Founder and Principal, Toshiko Mori Architect and Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design
  • Lisa Slade,Assistant Director, Artistic Programs, Art Gallery of South Australia
  • Sally Smart,Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne and renowned contemporary artist
  • Tracey Whiting,Chair, Art Gallery of South Australia Board

 

 

The choice of the site was logical for such a program, as it was bordered on one side by the city, and on the other by the Botanic Garden. But to accommodate this strategy and free up the site, a large demolition program in two stages has to occur. The considerable expense this will entail only can attest to the importance which the City of Adelaide has placed on this project.

 

 

A general perusal of the entries indicates that the design strategies of the six firms had little in common with each other. And one wonders if the shortlisting process assumed this would be the case in the end. Without a jury report, but only a short summary about the winner, we cannot but imagine how the adjudication process might have evolved.

 

 

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Recent Archive Updates

Interview: James Mary O’Connor FAIA (Winter 2017)

After receiving his Diploma in Architecture from the Dublin Institute of Technology and BS in Architecture from Trinity College in Dublin, James received his Masters in Architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles while a Fulbright Scholar in the U.S. Shortly after his time as a student in Charles Moore’s Master Class at UCLA, he joined the Moore firm in Los Angeles, now Moore Ruble Yudell. Beginning in the late 1980s, he was involved in the firm’s many projects in Germany, many of which dealt with masterplanning and the construction of large housing, primarily in Berlin. Subsequently, he was involved in the Potatisåkern Master Plan & Housing, as well as the Bo01 Housing Exhibition, both in Malmö, Sweden.
James was MRY’s point person in its subsequent involvement with the firm’s many projects in the People’s Republic of China, beginning with their winning competition proposal for the Century Center project in Beijing. Although unbuilt, it didn’t escape the notice of the Chinese, who invited the firm to participate in a competition for the Tianjin Xin-He large neighborhood masterplan—which they won. This was followed by the 2004 Chun Sen Bi An Housing Masterplan competition in the city of Chongqing, located in central China—completed in 2010. This high profile project resulted in a number of affordable and high-end housing projects throughout China. The firm’s most remarkable sustainability project was the COFCO Agricultural Eco-Valley Master Plan project outside Beijing, envisioned to become the first net zero-carbon project of its kind in the world.
In the meantime, the firm’s focus in China has evolved from its concentration on housing to institutional projects, such as the Shanghai University of Technology‘s research buildings. In the meantime MRY has been noted as a leader in the design of campus projects in the U.S. and abroad, as well as numerous government projects—courthouses and embassies.

 

 

Interview: James Mary O’Connor FAIA (Winter 2017)


Playing the China Card: The MRY Example

 

 


Chun Sen Bi An Housing, Chongqing (competition 2004; completion 2010)

 

COMPETITIONS: Moore Ruble Yudell (MRY) has had a reputation as an international player since the 1980s. How did you manage to become involved in China?

 

James O’Connor: We were first invited to take part in a (developer) competition in Beijing in 2002, the Beijing Century Center. We won, but the project was never built. The client was not that serious, and we never got paid. After that, we said that we would never enter another competition in China. But, what turned out to be a real clientele kept after us to participate in one of their projects. After turning them down several times, we finally relented. That was a competition for the Tianjin Xin-he New Town Master Plan and Housing in Tianjin—which we did win.

 

 


Chun Sen Bi An perspectives (above)


Chun Sen Bi An Housing Master Plan

 

COMPETITIONS: Once you have become established in China, it would seem that you almost can pick and choose between competitions and projects.

 

O’Connor: Right before the time of the Olympics, there were few foreign firms working there so we were interviewing clients as opposed to clients interviewing us. And every time we would go out, we would be involved with another project, or another competition. It all started in kind of a shaky way; but that’s kind of how it evolved.

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