Australian design talent to shine in new landmark

The Australian Institute of Architects has applauded the Victorian Government’s decision to harness outstanding local talent in the design of NGV Contemporary.

Victorian State Manager Tim Leslie said that electing to have an Australian architectural team design this new landmark for Melbourne would further leverage the benefits of this immense investment.

“We are delighted that the Andrews Government is promoting and supporting Australian architects as part of what they have promised will be ‘Australia’s biggest ever cultural infrastructure project’,” Mr Leslie said.

“The $1.4 billion for the revitalisation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct, including the design and construction of the NGV Contemporary announced in this year’s state budget, is a very significant cultural and economic stimulus measure.

 “The Institute warmly welcomes the decision to conduct a competition to select an Australian architectural team to design this iconic new addition to the city’s future.

“We commend the Andrews Government’s for recognising and exercising the power of government procurement to support Australian business.

“Australia’s architects receive worldwide acclaim for their creativity, innovation and truly exceptional design capability.

“Having Australia’s largest contemporary gallery designed by Australians is a tremendous outcome.

“Procuring local architectural talent, which Australia has in abundance, will have a vast multiplier effect on the benefits this landmark project will deliver, concentrating them locally where they are needed most.”

The Institute is working closely with the Project Team at Development Victoria to review the final competition documentation with a view to formally endorsing the competition prior to its forthcoming announcement.

“The competition to design the NGV Contemporary is a remarkable opportunity to showcase the best of Australia’s world-leading design skills and expertise,” Mr Leslie said.

“In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Institute strongly advocated for changes to government procurement processes that would better assist with the economic recovery of the country.

“Governments can and should recognise the capacity that exists in Australia by supporting our businesses so that we retain and enhance skills and capabilities in our workforce, ensuring a more sustainable, self-reliant economy.

“Investing in locally based consultants, suppliers and construction firms in procurement processes means more local communities can benefit from stimulus packages. 

“The Institute has also strongly argued that design competitions should preference Australian professionals rather than opening competitions up to international consultants when the expertise exists here.

“We have recommended that in the current context governments need to focus on supporting Australian industry by ‘buying local’. This is exactly what the Andrews Government is now delivering and Victorians will reap the rewards for many years to come.”