News » POSTED 01.12.2015

2016 NGV Architecture Commission Design Competition

2015 Architecture Commission by John Wardle Architects at NGV International. Photo: John Gollings

Registrations for the National Gallery of Victoria’s 2016 Architecture Commission Design Competition are now open. This new annual contest invites Australian architects and designers to develop evocative and thought-provoking works of temporary architecture for one of Melbourne’s great civic spaces, the Grollo Equiset Garden at NGV International. 

Competitors are encouraged to offer a unique response to the site, explore new propositions about architecture and design, and demonstrate innovation in material use, fabrication, sustainability and recyclability. 

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, ‘Design and architecture can enrich culture and society and we look forward to seeing the innovative and inspiring entries over the months ahead. The Architecture Commission Design Competition could take many forms; a pavilion of shade and retreat, a place for play or reflection, or a venue to share food, perform or gather.’ 

‘I’m pleased to also reveal the judges for next year’s competition, who are leading voices in the Australian architecture community: Corbett Lyon, Rachel Neeson, Emma Williamson and Fleur Watson. Andrew Mackenzie of City Lab will act as competition advisor, working with the NGV and the Australian Institute of Architects to ensure industry-best standards for the competitive process,’ continued Mr Ellwood. 

The competition will be held in two stages. Stage One calls for high level design proposals, of which up to five will be chosen to receive an honorarium and proceed to Stage Two. The final winner will be announced in April 2016. 

Led by the Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture, the inaugural Architecture Commission was presented in 2015 by John Wardle Architects, who designed an exuberant pavilion of steel, timber and hand-formed textile elements. Taking inspiration from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, the pavilion lifts dramatically on high arches to form an open-sided, shaded space. 

Competition Jury: 

• Corbett Lyon, Director, Lyons Architecture (VIC) 

• Rachel Neeson, Director, Neeson Murcutt Architects (NSW) 

• Emma Williamson, Practice Director, CODA (WA) 

• Fleur Watson, Curator, RMIT Design Hub (VIC) 


The NGV Architecture Commission Design Competition process is developed and delivered by City Lab. The NGV Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture is generously supported by the Hugh D. T. Williamson Foundation 

Stage One and Question Period opens on 9 December 2015 
Entries close on 25 January 2016 

Register for the 2016 Architecture Commission Design Competition by visiting