The National Gallery of Victoria in Australia has offered a first look at its long-awaited contemporary art space. On Tuesday, the museum unveiled designs for the site, titled the National Gallery of Victoria Contemporary building, which is set to be the centerpiece of a $1.2 billion overhaul of the Melbourne Arts Precinct, located in Southbank.
The design for the new 140,000-square-foot space will be done by the Sydney-based firm Angelo Candalepas and Associates, which was picked to oversee the space following a competition. The building will include a massive central spherical gallery, a two-level rooftop terrace complete with a sculpture garden, scientific laboratories for the study and preservation of artworks, and various exhibition spaces. Once it is completed in 2028, the NGVC will be the largest contemporary art gallery in the country.
“This is going to be an absolute game-changer for our state. It’s going to put us on the world map as being a destination for great creative and cultural events,” Danny Pearson, the state’s creative industries minister, told the Guardian. “As the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, the NGVC will be to Melbourne.”
Australian officials have said that the Melbourne Arts Precinct was in dire need of a renovation, with one telling the Australian newspaper the Age that the area is “probably the closest example to the central city that you can find of urban blight” and labeling it “a remarkably unattractive and decayed part of the city.” The redevelopment plan is expected to bring about 11,000 jobs during construction and provide at least a couple hundred permanent positions.