McGregor Coxall a finalist for the National Sculpture Garden Design Competition

McGregor Coxall a finalist for the National Sculpture Garden Design Competition

The National Gallery of Australia has announced a shortlist of five finalists for the National Sculpture Garden Design Competition. Five Australian multidisciplinary teams will progress to the final stage of the design competition with the winning design to be announced in October 2024.

Pictured L-R: Adrian McGregor (McGregor Coxall); Sarah Hicks (Bush Projects); Simone Bliss (SBLA Studio); Sharon Wright (Hassell Ltd); and Will Fung (CO-AP). Credit: National Gallery of Australia

The largest investment into the garden since its creation, the $60 million Sculpture Garden project is set to revitalise one of Australia’s most significant and distinct sculpture gardens, creating a globally renowned destination for visitors, art and artists. National Gallery Director, Dr Nick Mitzevich said: ‘Revitalising the National Sculpture Garden is a project of ambition that will create a world-class artistic experience within a unique Australian landscape setting’

‘We look forward to seeing the shortlisted concept designs develop further over the coming months,’ he said. The two-stage competition launched in April 2024, calling for innovative designs to revitalise the three-hectare garden as a place for experiencing art, education, and cultural and social events. Entrants were required to form multidisciplinary partnerships including a Landscape Architect, an Australian First Nations practitioner, artist, architect and botanist or horticulturalist, and honour the garden’s original design intent and heritage values.

Entries were assessed by a Jury of distinguished experts chaired by architect and Chair of the Heritage Council of Victoria Philip Goad, along with National Gallery Director Dr Nick Mitzevich, Barkandji artist and curator Nici Cumpston OAM and renowned Chilean landscape architect Teresa Moller.

The finalists will proceed to the second and final stage of the competition, where they have been invited to provide a further submission for the Jury’s consideration. The outcome of the second stage is expected to be announced in October 2024.

National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra, Photographer: Rory Gardiner © National Gallery of Australia, 2023

The McGregor Coxall team comprises landscape architects Adrian McGregor and Fraser Halliday (McGregor Coxall), Australian Waanyi multi-media artist Judy Watson, Indigenous engagement specialists Lea Gage and Dr Annie Burgess (Murawin), botanist / horticulturalist Neil Marriot, architect John Choi (CHROFI), and heritage consultants Rachel Jackson, Anna Leeson and Edward Robbins (GML Heritage).

Other shortlisted teams include collectives led by CO-AP, Emergent Studios, Hassell and SBLA Studio. Read the full media release and see the full team list here.


Set in the unique environment of Kamberri/Canberra and on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, the National Sculpture Garden is one of the most significant sculpture gardens in Australia and is home to the Gallery’s extensive sculpture collection.

Works began on the Sculpture Garden in 1981. Harry Howard and Associates designed the garden to complement the building. The diagonal of the main pathway and the floor plan of the garden repeats the triangular architecture of the main building. The innovative landscape design included a set of ‘outside rooms’ that showcase works by Australian and international artists. The National Sculpture Garden features native plants suited to the environmental conditions of the region and is currently home to over 65 sculptures and installations by leading Australian and international artists including Bert Flugelman, Clement Meadmore, Anthony Gormley, Tracey Emin and Thancoupie (Dhaynagwidh/Thaynakwith people). Major immersive works include Within without by American artist James Turrell, one of his largest and most complex Skyspaces to date; and the much anticipated Ouroboros, a four-metre high, and approximately 13 tonne public sculpture by Australian artist Lindy Lee, set to be unveiled on 25 October 2024. The National Sculpture Garden revitalisation project will be realised through philanthropic support.

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