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: Joe Valerio (Fall 2004)


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North Point Competition model, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2003)

 

COMPETITIONS: As has been case with many architects, your career got a very big boost by virtue of winning a competition — Colton Palms Senior Apartments. Was that the very first competition you participated in?

 

VALERIO: No. It wasn’t the first, and it wasn’t the last. It was interesting in that we won, and also won a PA Design Award for it and an AIA Honor Award for the project when it was finished. It covered the gamut of awards that one could win with a project. And it got built almost exactly the way it was designed for the competition.

 

COMPETITIONS: Was the competition open or invited?

 

VALERIO: It was open, and there were about 140 entries from around the world. There were five finalists in the 2-stage competition, and we were selected at the end of the second stage.

 




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COMPETITIONS: Do you recall who ran that competition?

VALERIO: Michael Pittas, who did a very commendable job. The two key jurors were Rob Quigley and Don Lyndon. In hindsight, it was one of those things where all the stars were alligned and there was a very dynamic city manager (Frank Benest). This was his first job as city manager. He went on to become city manager in Brea, California, a wealthier suburb. Now he is city manager of Palo Alto. He recently said to me that one thing he was always trying to get communities to do was to invest in their downtowns. ‘Here in Palo Alto, nobody wants any more investment in downtown.’ Frank was very innovative, in that he used the competition process to get something to happen that probably could not have happened any other way. California in the early 90s had a law which said that, ‘if you set up a redevelopment district, you could capture the increase in real estate tax revenue in that district and use it to help finance the development.
   So it was a kind of bootstrap sort of approach called tiff financing, which is very popular all over the U.S., including in Chicago. You have to set aside 20% from that funding mechanism for
affordable housing. So everybody set up these greenbelt districts and this set-aside fund. But nobody wanted affordable housing, because affordable housing equated with subsidized housing. It didn’t matter that the people that really wanted to use the affordable housing were seniors from the community who didn’t want to leave, or policemen or firemen who couldn’t afford to live in communities they were serving. People were just against affordable housing.

 

Colton Palms Apartments (Competition winner 1988) Colton Palms, California
Photo: courtesy Valerio Dewalt Train
Colton Palms Apartments (Competition winner 1988) Colton Palms, California


So Frank came up with the idea, if he could create enough buzz about the project and really make it into this event, he could get the city to build affordable housing projects. It turned out that they had an abandoned grocery store in their old downtown area, which covered most of a city block. The city had taken control of the property. So he had the money and the set-aside. He had this piece of property which had to be redeveloped; but he couldn’t get the city to just do it. So he came up with this idea of doing a competition, hired Michael Pittas to organize it, and it worked. There was all this publicity and notoriety; this competition was like a city festival. It was a very public event where people showed up for the presentations. So not only was it an architectural event; but it had a real social underpinning that was really admirable. Without that mechanism, I doubt if Frank would have been successful.

 

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3Com office and production facility, Rolling Meadows, Illinois  Photos: courtesy Valerio Dewalt Train Associates


COMPETITIONS: In retrospect, would you have any clues as to why you won?

 

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