Unveiled last week, the 2018 NGV Architectural Commission by MUIR Architecture and Openwork, is the expression of a collection of established childhood memories. Nostalgic experiences from within the famed Roy Grounds building that houses the treasures of the National Gallery of Victoria.
This years commission, the 4th in an annual retinue, celebrates the existing relationship between the built environment and the garden that it has essentially informed. The Grollo Equiset Garden is a sum of its parts. The resulting outdoor space that remained after the 1959 construction of the Gallery. MUIR Architecture and Openwork have introduced an architectural intervention within this garden space that binds it to the aesthetics of its built surrounds and gently invokes a desire to explore, climb, touch and hide within. Much like the memories many of us harbor from childhood trips to the hallowed halls of the NGV’s interior.
Doubleground transforms the existing topography of the NGV’s Grollo Equiset Garden by raising sections of the landscape and creating chasm like passageways for visitors to explore between the tilted embankments. The physicality of the temporary architecture establishes a seamless dialogue with the surrounding environment and continues the notion of interacting with our surroundings as we may have as children. Architect Amy Muir and landscape architect Mark Jacques drew from their memories of visiting the NGV as young children to create a digital collage that uses architectural components from Grounds’ building design for the installation blueprint.
Including a canyon-like corridor, which references the triangular patterns of the NGV’s façade and glass wall of the Great Hall, the installation features a decking area that recalls Grounds’ timber design for the Gallery foyer and a bamboo garden inspired by the building’s original Bamboo Courtyard.
Elevating the experience further is the introduction of sensory elements that form a childlike language. The ability to view the built form from different perspectives. To hide within its folds and spy on unsuspecting inhabitants from above. The echo’s of the materiality. The nooks and crannies. The slight distortion of sound and the excitement of discovery as you are drawn in and through the canyon, into its soft misty depths and out and around its gentle grassy slopes that form folds in the landscape which lend meaning to the name – Doubleground.
Architect Amy Muir and landscape architect Mark Jacques
Experience Doubleground at NGV International until 22nd April 2019.