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NGV Studio Gallery

An experimental gallery space for NGV at Federation Square for the display of emerging local artists with an emphasis on street art and youth culture.

  • Client Brief

    This studio/gallery space for NGV Australia at Federation Square had the parallel aim of improving the NGV’s presence on the street whilst creating a new shared entry to the adjacent NGV Kids gallery. The gallery is for the display of emerging local artists with an emphasis on street art and youth culture.

    Design Response

    Protection of the existing Federation Square building was paramount and our internal fitout seeks to celebrate and yet simplify its geometry so as to shift the focus from the building to the display walls of the space. We have created a dominant ‘white’ space to the Flinders Street frontage and a recessive ‘black’ space to the rear. The display walls in white and black washed plywood are a panelised system where panels can be removed, altered and replaced as required for changing exhibitions.

    State of the art AV, multimedia and data systems are provided along with a remotely controlled LED lighting system, in part as a pilot project for how such technology may be implemented throughout the NGV as a whole. Externally the aluminium fin sign in retro reflective road sign film draws on the ‘street’ sentiment of the space, brands it from a distance, directs patrons to the new side entry, and ‘flares’ in the reflected sunlight of day and the headlights of night.

    Further design gestures which may be implemented in the future include a white painted checker plate floor treatment to the external street front corner, which would signify the gallery’s presence, define an external display space and be suggestive of the formal ‘white cube’ gallery space melted and oozing onto the public concourse. Making a backlit light box out of the tilted glass cube within the space and installing retractable projection screens to the disused door portals in the perimeter glass façade are further possibilities for the future.

  • NGV Studio Gallery Design Specifications

    Services Provided

    • Concept Design
    • Design Documentation
    • Construction Advice


    Workshop Architecture in association with Carnevale & Divall Architects


    Project Director: James Staughton
    Project Team: James Staughton, Grant Divall, Ming Lie
    Photographer: John Gollings



    Date completed

    February 2013


    Federation Square, Melbourne, Victoria

  • Interview with Janne Ryan on By Design, ABC Radio National, 6 June 2012

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