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Foyer sculpture

National Gallery of Australia

The National Gallery of Australia - New Entrance and Indigenous Australian Galleries is a major addition to the existing gallery in Australia’s capital city, Canberra.

The new gallery spaces responded to a desire by the NGA for a suite of traditional gallery rooms, rather than the circuit-based plan, elaborated through the generative triangular geometries, of the original. As such, the extension was developed as a series of orthogonal gallery spaces enfilade.

The larger galleries were suffused with natural daylight, which was mediated by a skilfully manipulated cross-section that evened the light distribution and reconciled subtle variations in the height and scale of each room calibrated to the works therein. Supplementary spotlighting illuminated the works. The legible composition of rooms allowed for a thematic arrangement of the astonishing works in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection.

The new extensions were surrounded by landscaped areas that helped complete the garden circuit around the building. ‘Skyspace’, a major work by an American Artist, James Turrell, was located within these gardens and was accessed from the function room and new building entry. The project improved the back of house, art processing facilities, with a new loading dock, security room and quarantine areas.


No of Levels


Thousand (GFA m2)


Thousand (Site Area m2)

New Entrance
Indigenous Australian Gallery


Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country, Parkes Place East, Parkes, ACT, Australia


National Gallery of Australia


2011 Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Award