The Competition

The Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition was an open international two-stage design competition.

The competition’s objective was to seek out an exceptional design team for the Adelaide Contemporary project, identifying the very best design talent both nationally and internationally. Arts South Australia is a progressive patron and encouraged creative collaborations between emerging and established practices, between local and international practices, and across design disciplines.

At the first stage, Arts South Australia was looking for architect-led creative teams with expertise in architecture and landscape architecture. Teams could also have included a way-finding specialist, an access consultant and, if appropriate, an artist or other creative contributors. Engineering disciplines, cost consultancy and project management will be procured separately by the client.

The competition was run in accordance with the procurement requirements of the Government of South Australia. The conditions for Stage Two of the competition were formally endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects.

The competition jury was chaired by Michael Lynch AO CBE.

Stage One: Expression of Interest

An open call for participation that was aimed at attracting outstanding, dedicated teams to register their interest in the project. This stage was open to all qualified architects and landscape architects who met the requirements as described in the Competition Conditions.

The first stage did not seek designs but a demonstration of qualifications: company information, an explanation behind the proposed composition of the team, relevant experience, and project understanding and approach.

A shortlist of six teams was selected to move to Stage Two.

Stage Two: Concept Design

The shortlisted teams were given further detailed briefing, and attended a site visit and competition seminar in Adelaide in late January 2018. These finalists submitted their concept designs in early April 2018. These teams all included an Australian registered architect. An honorarium of AU$90,000 was paid to each shortlisted team that submitted a compliant tender. A technical panel reviewed the entries and produced a report for the jury.

The jury met in May 2018 to interview the shortlist, and selected the team led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot as the winner of the competition.

Further details can be found in the Competition Conditions.

Arts South Australia appointed Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC), an independent expert organiser of design competitions, to devise and manage the competition for Adelaide Contemporary. MRC combined the exemplary procurement standards of the Government of South Australia with tested industry-standard competition processes to ensure probity and openness at all stages.

Arts South Australia is committed to an open and collaborative approach to the Adelaide Contemporary project. A public exhibition of the shortlisted teams’ concept designs was held in Adelaide prior to the jury meeting, and the designs were also published online. The public were asked to give feedback, and stakeholders were invited by Arts South Australia to provide their response.

Competition Timeline

Stage One
Competition launchedThursday 19 October 2017
Deadline for questionsWednesday 15 November 2017
Stage One Submission Deadline21:30 ACDT / 11:00 GMT Friday 24 November 2017
Stage Two
Tender stage launchedMid-December 2017
Shortlist announcedMid-December 2017
Site visitLate January 2018
Stage Two Submission DeadlineEarly April 2018
JuryMay 2018
Winner announcedLate May / Early June 2018