A new public art gallery is to be built behind the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) on Southbank Boulevard, as part of a new 18,000 square-metre public garden in the heart of the Melbourne Arts Precinct.
To be named NGV Contemporary, the new gallery will be built as part of the biggest cultural infrastructure project in Australia, promising to establish vibrant new gardens and creative space in the heart of the city.
Premier Daniel Andrews and the Minister for Creative Industries, Danny Pearson visited the NGV following the $1.4 billion Stage 1of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation project being fully funded in the Budget.
Mr Andrews said the project will rejuvenate the city’s creative heart, bringing visitors and energy back to Melbourne as it is rebuilt.
“It will showcase the best of our creativity, create thousands of jobs and give people more open green space to relax and take in the best of our city,” Mr Andrews said.
He said the public gardens will include a collection of spaces for performances, gathering, installations and festivals as well as providing a new green lung for Southbank – one of Australia’s most densely populated suburbs.
Mr Pearson said NGV Contemporary and the public garden would transform the arts precinct into one of the “most exciting creative and cultural destinations in the world”.
Director of NGV, Tony Ellwood said NGV Contemporary will be a dynamic cultural hub that all Victorians will be proud to call their own.
“It will present an unrivalled opportunity to showcase Australian and international art, design and architecture to the world,” Mr Ellwood said.
With a new open public space this size in the city, the project will involve decking over Sturt Street between City Road and Southbank Boulevard but will include support for Arts Centre Melbourne to undertake upgrades at the Theatres Building, and will create more than 5,000 local construction sector jobs and help drive Victoria’s economic recovery.
The Ministers said later phases of the Melbourne Arts Precinct will include a new Centre for Creativity to be run by Arts Centre Melbourne with spaces and facilities for the State’s small to medium and independent arts sector, a new performing arts gallery and an expanded Australian Music Vault.