NGV Contemporary Design Competition

State Victoria
Client Development Victoria
Competition Two Stage EOI and Two Stage Design Competition
Winner TBC

Maree Clarke Artist, Curator and Art Consultant
Tony Ellwood AM
Director, NGV
Jill Garner AM Victorian Government Architect and Principal, Garner Davis Architects
Francine Houben Founding Director, Mecanoo
Corbett Lyon (Chair) NGV Trustee and Director, Lyons Architecture
Gerard Reinmuth Director TERROIR, Professor of Practice, UTS
Xu Tiantian Founding Principal, DnA_Design and Architecture


CityLab is very pleased to announce that it has been retained as the Competition Advisor for the NGV Contemporary Design Competition.

NGV Contemporary will be a landmark gallery that celebrates the central role of art and design in contemporary life and culture. With more than 10,000 square metres of exhibition space, it will be the largest museum of contemporary art and design in Australia. Located in the heart of the re-imagined Melbourne Arts Precinct, NGV Contemporary will amplify Melbourne’s leadership position as a global centre of architectural excellence, art, design, and creative innovation.

The NGV Contemporary Design Competition seeks visionary, sustainable and dynamic design approaches from a multidisciplinary Australian design team, offering an unparalleled platform to showcase Australia’s world-leading design and architecture industries.

Australian architects are now invited to register their interest for the NGV Contemporary Design Competition.

Leadership in Australian design
The competition celebrates Australia’s world-class architecture and design capabilities and invests significantly in local talent. Through design and construction NGV Contemporary will provide a long-lasting impact on the local design and architecture industry.

Searching for design excellence
A project of this prominence and importance to Victoria deserves the very best architecture and design Australia can produce. This is a city-shaping opportunity to deliver the highest possible quality for its users, the city and the environment.

Collaborative and cross-disciplinary

The NGV Contemporary Design Competition encourages creative collaboration and embraces diversity of expertise and experience. The design brief is layered and complex and requires a diverse range of design professionals to fully exploit its opportunities.

Local industry engagement
Now more than ever the local design and built environment economy needs support and encouragement. The competition calls for proposals that maximise the opportunities for this project to contribute positively to the local economy, industry and jobs. NGV Contemporary will be a global architectural landmark that demonstrates the skill and capability of the local design industry.

This Project is classified as a Strategic Project, which is subject to minimum local content requirements. Consistent with this, and in support of the local design industry, the Competition requires Competitors to commit to achieving a minimum percentage of fees under the Contract going directly to Australian firms, capping international participation.

Support for a wide range of design practices
NGV Contemporary requires significant experience and capability from those primarily responsible for its design and delivery. The competition also encourages collaborative engagement with specialists, emerging design leaders and innovators to meet NGV Contemporary’s future needs.


To be eligible to participate in the NGV Contemporary Design Competition, Competitor Teams must meet all the below listed eligibility criteria. A single architecture practice may fulfil all requirements, alternatively two or more practices may separately fulfil the requirements. The eligibility criteria will be assessed as part of the EOI process.

Design Lead
  • be a Practising Architect, Architectural Company or Architectural Partnership within Australia for no less than ten years, and eligible to register as an architect in Victoria, Australia pursuant to the Architects Act 1991 (Vic); and
  • has demonstrated public sector experience as project architect.

Anchor Practice
  • be a Practising Architect, Architectural Company or Architectural Partnership within Australia for no less than ten years, and eligible to register as an architect in Victoria, Australia pursuant to the Architects Act 1991 (Vic); and
  • have no less than 30 staff (FTE) in Australia; and
  • have provided lead design services for the key phases of the project lifecycle on a project with a construction budget of no less than AUD$100m.

Victorian Participation Requirement
  • a minimum of one of the competitor team members must provide a location (or locations) where that entity has carried on business for no less than 12 months. This address must be a street address in Victoria (not a post office box address); and
  • The successful design team will need to commit to running the principal NGV Contemporary project design studio in Melbourne.

The NGV Contemporary Design Competition is a two-part Expression of Interest (EOI) and a two-part design competition. Services sought at EOI Part A include architecture, interior design, urban design, and landscape architecture.

A target of twelve competitor teams will be longlisted to progress to EOI Part B, where competitor teams will be asked to demonstrate their capabilities in sustainability and engineering services disciplines.

A target of eight competitor teams will progress to the first stage of the design competition. Competitor teams participating in the first stage of the design competition will present an initial design concept.

A target of up to four competitor teams will be selected to progress to the second stage of the design competition, where competitors will undertake to more fully develop their design concepts. A positive guidance workshop will be held midway through this stage.

A successful design team will be announced in summer 2021/22.

Registration for the NGV Contemporary Design Competition is now closed.