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: Ralph Johnson of Perkins+Will (Fall 1995)

shanghai-museum-c
COMPETITIONS: you have been in both open and invited compe-titions—both as a juror and as a participant. Which type do you prefer and why?

 

RALPH JOHNSON: I think both are viable. For a young architect, open competitions are great, because they are not going to get invited. It’s a way for young architects to break into a bigger scope of work. It’s an oppor-tunity for someone who doesn’t have the experience in that particular building type to get into a new area.
Shanghai Natural History Museum Photos: courtesy Perkins and Will

 

An invited competition usually involves some kind of portfolio or resume of the firm’s work, and you usually get selected on experience in that particular building type. In the latter case, you are probably dealing with fairly extensive presentation requirements and a big outlay of money. It often also involves a couple of stages. If the compensation is adequate, which is usually six figures—$100,000-$200,000—it’s great. Most of the time, it’s inadequate. For the recent (Beirut Conference Center) competition, we did in Lebanon, it was $200,000, and that was enough to cover (our) costs. So there are benefits for both types of competitions.

 

COMPETITIONS: And as a panelist?

 

RJ: It’s much more difficult to jury the open ones because it takes longer. I was on the Astronaut Memorial jury, and there were over 600 entries. You normally don’t interview the architect; it’s single-stage. It’s more a process of winnowing out inadequate submissions—which is easy to do—and getting down to the ten percent after the first cut. In the case of an invited competition, you have five to ten submissions from very qualified firms. I think it’s good if you can actually interview firms and have a question and answer period. In an open competition, it’s almost inevitable that you wonder who is actually doing the project, how qualified the architect is. It’s hard to keep that out of your mind.

 

shanghai-museum-a shanghai-museum-b
shanghai-museum-f shanghai-museum-d
shanghai-museum-e shanghai-museum-h
Shanghai Natural History Museum Photos: courtesy Perkins and Will

 

COMPETITIONS: In other words, the presentation isn’t necessarily an indication of the qualifications of the designer?

 

RJ: I wasn’t on the jury in the case of the Vietnam Memorial, which was a famous competition. There were very sketchy charcoal drawings (by Maya Lin), which really didn’t indicate anything other than conceptual design capabilities. How could you possibly come to any conclusion of technical competence based on those drawings? You really have to read into it and assume a lot in terms of the person. In that case, of course, it was a great success as a non-complex building type. As a laboratory or something else, it’s a different story.

 

COMPETITIONS: There are a number of anecdotes concerning jurors speculating about the author behind a competition entry—the one in Paris resulting in the Grand Arch is an example. Richard Rogers, a competition juror, supposedly remarked to another juror, Richard Meier, that the author of what eventually turned out to be the winning design, “might be a nobody.” Meier reminded Rogers that, before Pompidou, he was a “nobody.”

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