Each year, the National Gallery of Victoria commissions a new temporary structure to evoke a fresh perspective on the gallery. Previous years have seen a pink car wash and an openair maze pop up in the NGV's Grollo Equiset Garden, but 2018's Architecture Commission, announced today, will be a direct reflection of the gallery itself.
A collaborative effort between Melbourne firm Muir and landscape architecture studio Openwork. Doubleground draws inspiration from past and present aspects of NGV International. The design is centred on a dramatic passageway that recalls the triangular patterns found within the NGV's Great Hall glass feature wall and on the gallery's roof.
Elements of the NGV Garden will literally be raised up as sections of the garden become sharp embankments, creating canyon-like passageways below. The Sir Roy Grounds-designed building also provided inspiration for Doublegrounds decking area, which echoes the NGV International's foyer, while a bamboo garden reflects the building's former bamboo courtyard.
Architect Amy Muir used her memories of visiting the gallery as a child to compose a blueprint for the new commission. "The 2018 Architecture Commission provides an intervention that challenges the role of the NGV Garden," Muir said of her studio's designs. "Acknowledging the intent and architectural language of the original Roy Grounds building, the Commission seeks to bring the memories of place back into play."
Promoting the positive relationship between architecture, landscape and civic space, Doubleground was chosen ahead of 73 other entries from around Australia due to its collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach.
As 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the NGV International, gallery Director Tony Ellwood explained the new commission "offers visitors a unique opportunity to reflect upon and re-examine the history and design of the Gallery as an integral part of Melbourne's public realm".