The site offers the opportunity to integrate the new gallery and the adjacent Adelaide Botanic Garden with a public sculpture park, community space and flexible galleries, strengthening the celebrated North Terrace’s identity as Adelaide’s creative precinct and expanding it eastwards.
Adelaide is located on the traditional country of the Kaurna people. The area adjacent to the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site, known as Rundle Park, derives its Kaurna name, Kadlitpinna, from the famed Kaurna warrior. Known to colonists predominantly as ‘Captain Jack’, Kadlitpinna was an important educator and leader – providing rich information on Kaurna language and culture to settlers. A portrait of Kadlitpinna by George French Angas is held in the Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection.
The area leading to Adelaide Botanic Garden was known to the Kaurna as kaingka wirra ‘gum scrub’ and the lake in the gardens was an important water source. Furthermore, the entire area on which the former Royal Adelaide Hospital is sited would have been rich hunting grounds providing a wealth of food and other resources.
The new gallery will be located to the eastern edge of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site, where the hospital estate adjoined Adelaide Botanic Garden. It is 400 metres east of the current Art Gallery of South Australia building on North Terrace, in land zoned for cultural and institutional uses. Adelaide Contemporary will complete Adelaide’s expanded North Terrace ‘cultural boulevard’.
The natural slope of the site, and reconfiguration made possible by the planned demolition of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital, create abundant potential for a great public space. The concept for Adelaide Contemporary envisages a variety of programming for the landscape, as well as being a friendly place to relax. This space will be fully open, all year round.
The site – which is rectangular in shape but diagonally truncated along its northern edge to create a north-eastern edge – is bordered by North Terrace to the south, Adelaide Botanic Garden to the east and north-east, and the remainder of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site to the west.
A wide pedestrian boulevard is envisaged, running north-south on an axis from North Terrace to one of the glass houses within Adelaide Botanic Garden, alongside redeveloped former hospital buildings and acting as a pedestrian and public realm buffer between the Adelaide Contemporary site and the rest of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site to its west.
For more details on the site, including constraints and opportunities, please read the Competition Conditions.