Press Release

NGV welcomes Victorian Government’s commitment to build Australia’s largest public gallery of contemporary art and design, NGV Contemporary

Melbourne, Australia
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The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is grateful to the Victorian Government for its extraordinary commitment to fund the construction of Australia’s largest gallery of contemporary art and design, NGV Contemporary, which will be designed and built by an Australian team.

Located at 77 Southbank Boulevard, Melbourne, in the heart of the re-imagined Melbourne Arts Precinct, the new purpose-built gallery will be dedicated to showcasing contemporary art, design, fashion and architecture of local, national and international significance. The gallery will be an unparalleled platform for local practitioners, showcasing the talent of Australia’s creative industries to a global audience.

The gallery will be designed by an Australian architectural team, who will be appointed through a competition process. Once completed, the gallery will span more than 30,000 square metres, making it the largest facility of its kind in Australia. 

Building on the growth in audiences attending ground-breaking exhibitions of contemporary art and design, NGV Contemporary will elevate Melbourne’s reputation as a thriving and dynamic cultural destination in our region.

NGV Contemporary will dramatically enhance NGV’s capacity to display contemporary art and design from the NGV Collection. The larger gallery spaces will also meet the demands of an ambitious exhibition program including the recurring NGV Triennial series, major ticketed blockbuster exhibitions, major solo exhibitions of the world’s leading contemporary artists and designers, large-scale fashion exhibitions, the NGV architecture commission series and large-scale contemporary art and design commissions.  

Janet Whiting AM, President, Council of Trustees, NGV, said: ‘I’d like to acknowledge the incredible vision and leadership demonstrated by the Victorian Government through this commitment to build NGV Contemporary. This state-of-the-art gallery will be a major attraction for millions of visitors from across Victoria, Australia and the world. NGV Contemporary and the surrounding Melbourne Arts Precinct will be an important beacon for tourism akin to New York’s Highline.' 

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, National Gallery of Victoria, said: ‘On behalf of the people of Victoria, I’d like to thank the Victorian Government for their extraordinary commitment to creating this vital cultural asset for Victoria. NGV Contemporary will form an intrinsic part of Melbourne’s creative and cultural identity, a universal civic space where visitors can gather, socialise, learn and interpret our world through a year-round presentation of exhibitions and programs that reflect contemporary life and culture. NGV Contemporary will be a dynamic cultural hub that all Victorians will be proud to call their own and present an unrivalled opportunity to showcase Australian and international art, design and architectural practice to the world.’


Founded in 1861, the NGV is the most visited and oldest public art institution in Australia. The organisation is currently situated over two buildings – NGV International on St Kilda Road and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Fed Square. NGV Contemporary will be the third site for the NGV, enabling the organisation to present a dynamic schedule traversing contemporary, historic, national and international art and design.   

The NGV holds one of the most significant collections of art and design in the region; a vast treasury of more than 70,000 works that span thousands of years and a wealth of ideas, disciplines and styles. Visitors can access this vast collection through the NGV’s year-round calendar of temporary and collection exhibitions by international and local artists, complemented with programs and events including Melbourne Design Week and the Melbourne Art Book Fair. Exhibition areas range from contemporary art and design to major international historical exhibitions, fashion, photography and performance.

NGV attendance has more than doubled its growth in six years, with 1.57 million visitors in 2012 to 3 million visitors per year in 2019. With more than 1.23 million visitors, the inaugural NGV Triennial, held in 2017, remains the NGV’s highest attended exhibition to date. Occurring every three years, the NGV Triennial is a large-scale exhibition of art, design and architecture, featuring the work of leading contemporary artists and designers from countries across the globe.

NGV Contemporary will strengthen the NGV’s reputation for promoting local and international art and design at its major pre-existing galleries – NGV International on St Kilda Road and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square.


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The new 18,000 square meter public garden facing south (artist impression). HASSELL + SO-IL

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