HASSELL + SO – IL release designs for Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition


17 May 2018

HASSELL: Following an international call for submissions resulting in six shortlisted teams, the Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition has released the final designs for public exhibition.

The HASSELL + SO – IL design takes inspiration from what makes Adelaide special. Like the River Torrens (Karrawirra Parri), Adelaide Contemporary will carry and deposit fertile ideas along the course of culture, constantly attracting, hosting and transmitting exciting ideas between the Australian heartland and further afield.

As the anchor project for the form
er Royal Adelaide Hospital site, Adelaide Contemporary is a gateway to Adelaide, its parklands and the future of the city itself.

The intersection of nature, art and people

Adelaide Contemporary is a pivotal step toward transforming the former hospital site into a space where nature, art and people come together.

The HASSELL + SO – IL design pivots around the Gallery of Adelaide, an outdoor stage for performance art and festival events. There is a portfolio of galleries of various formats, a leisurely roof garden with views to the River Torrens and the hills, and a sculpture garden with distinctively Australian features.


This sculpture garden extends deep into the building, connecting the Gallery of Time and the theatre with the land. In the galleries, views are carefully considered and directed toward the gardens, the river and the neighbouring heritage buildings.

The design’s lush roof terraces are accessible to the public and provide a close encounter with the magnificent floral collection of the Adelaide Botanic Garden.

Art everywhere, any time

Art can be seen and touched everywhere, well beyond the galleries – in the public plaza, along the artwalk, on the rooftop and in the sculpture garden.

Since the environment informs how artworks are perceived, the galleries are structured not as isolated boxes but as intentionally interconnected spaces with nature surrounding them.

The collection galleries are a series of linked boxes of various sizes and proportions forming a journey with shifting views.

The temporary galleries – visible on the plaza level both from the North Terrace and the Central Rambler from the east – are flexible to house a variety of exhibitions.

The Gallery of Time on the garden level is a large, experimental space that tells the story of Adelaide and Australia.

From the land to the sky

Three sustainability themes – responsible, efficient and flexible – also play a major role in the HASSELL + SO – IL design. Building systems will seamlessly integrate into the overall project strategy to ensure a comfortable and sustainable environment by:


Adelaide Contemporary will not only protect its environment, it will embrace it.

Visitors will experience a blurred transition between indoors and outdoors – an approach that will connect and delight people. The realm around the galleries is part of – not distinct from – the gallery itself. And the cocooning boxes, along with the draped roof, will help to protect this environment from the elements, making it usable throughout the year.




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