14 May, 2018

Adjaye Associates + BVN are among six teams shortlisted in the Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition, an open international two-stage design competition organised by Malcom Reading Consultants. The winning team will be announced later this summer.


Adjaye Associates’ design is conceived as a mythical primal house, set on the land of the Kaurna people. It negotiates the relationship between Aboriginal Country, urban grid and the future-facing city into a synthesised moment of cultural enlightenment.


The logic of space is informed by the idea of the house as a vessel for art and meaning. A central light-filled heart – a grand atrium – is surrounded by a series of balconies and rooms, which connect with framed views towards ritualised landscape and distant Kaurna dreaming tracks. The atrium culminates in a skylight, which dissolves the building into light, leading visitors upwards, towards a deeper understanding of culture.


The design establishes a unique visual identity that together with its spatial response, informs a greater sense of place – a place of inspiration, dialogue and encounter. It serves as a physical and symbolic connector of people, art and legacy across culture, geography, time and tradition.


The six shortlisted concept designs for Adelaide Contemporary are now on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide until 10 June and at


Adelaide Contemporary team:

Lead Architect – Adjaye Associates

Executive Architect – BVN

Landscape Architect – McGregor Coxall

Sustainability & Lighting – Steensen Varming

Design Manager – Plan A Consultants

Art Advisor – Barbara Flynn

Artist – Yvonne Koolmatrie

Competition Advisors:

Structural Engineering – Aurecon Group

Building Services - Steensen Varming

Façade – Front Inc