The Adelaide Contemporary, Adelaide, South Australia

Jean-François Milou, principal architect
Trung Thanh Nguyen, project manager
Janis Goh, project team member
Adelaide Museum
Consultancy Service scope
Concept Design
Bidding mode



A luminous structure, merging from the land, a plateau, its large opening as a light-filled atrium, a space extending forth, its texture suggesting the infinite possibilities of geological formations forever changing, like intricate minds forever forming. A stone-like translucent surface, conversant with the surrounding structures, but freer, resonating with the land, sea and skyscapes beyond the city. A place that conjures familiar colours, materials, images of Adelaide, the country.

Awnings incline to reveal their intimate texture, their fine surfaces scattered with mineral particles, hues of sandstone pink, grey greens appear, fade, and disappear, changing with the skies – with its moods, with the sun, the moon and stars. Offering cover, tempering light, evoking a sense of wonder. A dramatic drop, an escarpment falling to a basement valley of spectacular volumes beneath filtered light.

Watch it move across the smooth internal surfaces, drawing people further into the gallery of time, into co-existing and intercepting spaces, each living narratives. And all around, the landscaping, with its innumerable, inimitable universes, sends streams of water and plant life with secret lives to meander, entwine and explore the structures, spreading their forms into crevices, onto porous walls, watching and reaching out to all who come.

A place unquestionably of the first people, a place to which they belong. A place embracing of all people, and unlike any other place.

conceptual view of one exhibition space

conceptual view of the pedestrian concourse open to the garden

conceptual view of the pedestrian concourse towards the sunken courtyard

preliminary sketch of the public promenade in the city fabric