Adelaide aboriginal centre
Concept design for the new Centre. Photo: Supplied
  • 11,500 sqm centre will be built on Kaurna Land at Lot Fourteen
  • Concept design by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot
  • The architects worked closely with the AACC Aboriginal Reference Group
  • State Government has allocated $115 million to the project with Federal Government chipping in $85 million

Concept designs have been released for Adelaide’s new Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre to be built on Kaurna Land at Lot Fourteen, the site of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital.

More detailed designs for the 11,500 sqm building will be conceived over the next twelve months through a partnership between New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Adelaide-founded Woods Bagot.

The South Australian State Government has allocated $115 million to the project with the Federal Government contributing $85 million.

The AACC Aboriginal Reference Group (ARG) has worked closely with the partners to formulate a design reflective of the more than 65,000 years of First Nations cultures across Australia. AACC Ambassador David Rathman is excited about the opportunities the centre will bring to Aboriginal people and hopes it becomes a leading tourism attraction.

“It has to be a centre they will all be proud of as a place to present their cultures to the world,” Mr Rathman said.

“The building has to reach out to you, to make you want to come inside and to come back.”

Rosina Di Maria, a Principal at Woods Bagot, said the reference design drew inspiration from temporary shelters created by Aboriginal people which she says invokes a sense of welcome and safety – something that will be reflective when patrons visit the Centre.

Rosina Di Maria Woods Bagot
Rosina Di Maria, Principal Woods Bagot, hopes the architecture of the new building evokes a sense of welcome

“The design team’s role was to listen and translate the aspirations and ambitions of the ARG into a design response. The architecture evokes a sense of welcome to all visitors – particularly First Nations peoples – and a connection to culture offered through the human experience,” says Ms Di Maria.

“The Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre will be a place for all Australians to remember ourselves, to learn the truth telling of our past, and to re-imagine ourselves together to create new memories as a connected community. It will be a platform for developing Australian culture – informed by the past, shaped by the now, for our future.”

The AACC will offer 7,000 sqm of exhibition spaces diverse in size, height and light quality with views of natural surroundings.  The lower-level galleries will provide a gathering are for Welcome to Country ceremonies.

Construction is scheduled to start later in 2021 with a completion date of early 2025.

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