MUIR + OPENWORK selected by the National Gallery of Victoria for the 2018 Architecture Commission

Melbourne firm MUIR architecture and landscape architecture studio OPENWORK will present a collage of dramatic structural landscapes for the 2018 NGV Architecture Commission, inspired by key architectural elements of Sir Roy Grounds iconic NGV International building.

The winning proposal entitled Doubleground draws from the façade forms, timber linings and internal courtyards of Grounds’ 1960s design, resulting in a multi-level installation that offers new vistas and perspectives for visitors to experience the NGV Garden.

Doubleground will include an evocative passageway, which references the triangular patterns of the NGV’s roof and glass wall of the Great Hall. The installation will also feature seating elements drawn from the geometry of the NGV façade, a decking area that recalls Grounds’ timber design for the Gallery foyer and a bamboo garden inspired by the building’s original Bamboo Court courtyard.

Doubleground was selected as the winning concept for the 2018 NGV Architecture Commission for its collaborative and multi-disciplinary design approach, which promotes the positive relationship between architecture, landscape and civic space.

“MUIR + OPENWORK are delighted that we have been selected by the National Gallery of Victoria to deliver the 2018 Architecture Commission. Our project will provide an intervention that challenges the role of the Grollo Equisett Garden by seeing the landscape not as a benign receiver of objects, but instead as a space that heaves, cracks and contains ghosts. The commission renders landscape as an interior and, by burying, reveals a new architecture, a new memory and a new experience.”

The NGV Architecture Commission is an annual open competition, which asks architects to consider innovative ways to activate one of Melbourne’s great civic spaces, the NGV’s Grollo Equiset Garden, with a thought-provoking work of temporary architecture. The NGV Architecture Commission Design Competition process was developed and delivered by CityLab.

The NGV Architecture Commission is a component of the State Government’s annual Victorian Design Program.

The 2018 NGV Architecture Commission is supported by RMIT University and The Hugh D.T. Williamson Foundation

Images Courtesy of MUIR + OPENWORK

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at