National Gallery Launches National Sculpture Garden Landscape Design Competition

The National Sculpture Garden in Kamberri/Canberra is one of Australia’s largest and most distinct sculpture gardens.

By: Apr. 11, 2024
National Gallery Launches National Sculpture Garden Landscape Design Competition
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The National Gallery of Australia’s iconic sculpture garden is set to undergo a $60 million revitalisation with the launch of the Sculpture Garden Design Competition today.

The National Sculpture Garden in Kamberri/Canberra is one of Australia’s largest and most distinct sculpture gardens.

The National Gallery will conduct an open-call, two stage, competition to select a design team who can create an innovative design incorporating a public place for experiencing art, education, cultural and social events, while respecting the garden’s original design intent and heritage values.

The winner of the competition will lead a major redevelopment to revitalise the three-hectare garden surrounding the National Gallery, reinforcing its position as the most significant sculpture garden in Australia.  The National Sculpture Garden project will be realised through philanthropic support.
 

National Gallery Director Dr Nick Mitzevich said: “The National Sculpture Garden is a major part of the National Gallery identity and a treasured site for many of our visitors. Considered a striking example of Australian landscape design, the original design was never fully completed and has not seen significant investment over many years. We are launching this major project to revitalise and bring the garden into the 21st Century.’

The competition is open to all design teams and encourages multidisciplinary partnerships from Australia, international or a combination of both. Applicants are encouraged to include a Landscape Architect, an Australian First Nations practitioner, artist, architect and botanist or horticulturalist.

Established in 1981, the National Sculpture Garden was designed by landscape architects Harry Howard and Associates, to respond to and extend the building’s triangular geometric spatial configuration designed by Colin Madigan AO and his team. 

Set in the unique environment of Kamberri/Canberra and on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, the garden features native plants suited to the severe winter weather and hot dry summers of the region. It is home to sculptures and installations by leading Australian and International Artists, from early additions by Bert Flugelman, Clement Meadmore and Auguste Rodin to contemporary works by Thancoupie (Dhaynagwidh/Thaynakwith people), Fujiko Nakaya and major site-specific works by Fiona Hall and James Turrell.
 

The National Gallery has worked in collaboration with Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects Annabelle Pegrum AM and technical advisors to guide the competition in compliance with expectations.  The Australian Institute of Architects and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects have endorsed the competition. 

The Stage One Competition Brief has been developed in collaboration with a panel of eminent individuals with industry experience across a wide range of fields including landscape design and architecture, art, architecture, education, heritage, accessibility and botany.  

The competition encourages unique and imaginative conceptual designs which create a responsive landscape of resilience designed to mitigate climate change and enhance the mature trees and other plantings. Considerations of sustainability, accessibility and embedding First Nations principles are integral to the future design of the garden.

Entries for Stage One close 12 noon AEST on Wednesday 29 May 2024. Entries will be assessed by the Jury anonymously and a shortlist will be announced in June 2024 for progression to Stage Two.

Stage Two will see shortlisted entrants invited to further develop their conceptual designs for consideration by the Jury.

The winning design is set to be revealed in October 2024.

The full Stage One Competition Conditions, Brief and entry requirements are available here.

Entrants with enquiries regarding the competition should contact the Contact Officer specified in the Stage One Competition Conditions.



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