2017 NGV Architecture Commission

Retallack Thompson and Other Architects

Garden Wall 2017
Retallack Thompson and Other Architects
Image courtesy of the architects

The NGV garden is transformed into a maze-like series of open-air passageways, corridors and rooms as part of the 2017 NGV Architecture Commission.

Entitled Garden Wall by Retallack Thompson and Other Architects, the elegantly designed structure comprises over 260 white walls clad in transparent woven mesh, which offer visitors the opportunity to rediscover NGV’s Grollo Equiset Garden.

Shifting in nature from translucent to opaque, the structure’s walls will simultanously hide and reveal aspects of the garden, outdoor sculptures and even other visitors as one navitages the 250 metres of carefully-designed pathways. Each of the enfenced ‘rooms’ frame particular features found in the garden, including Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture Draped seated woman, 1958, heightening visitors’ encounters with the artworks and furniture, trees and plantings that are circumferenced by the walls.

Part landscape, part architecture, the visually-arresting Garden Wall was selected as the winning concept by the 2017 competition jury because it activated the NGV garden while also expanding upon traditional interpretations of what constitutes ‘architecture’ by exploring the function, culture and symbolism of walls and fences as an architectural element in contemporary society.