Volley Enjoys Summer At NGV

We like nothing better than a trip to Melbourne’s NGV, spending time in the soaring gallery spaces and peaceful courtyard garden. This inspirational space in the heart of Melbourne’s Arts precinct is now home to the Summer Architecture Commissions, an initiative that gives both established and emerging architects, the opportunity to present a concept to a broad audience across the summer months.

The inaugural commission, recently installed in the Grollo Equiset Garden at NGV International, was developed by established Melbourne architecture practice John Wardle Architects (JWA).


JWA’s exciting shell like structure takes inspiration from Melbourne’s iconic mid-century performance venue, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, but is reimagined in new materials for this contemporary outdoor setting. This structure uses both digital and handmade design concepts; precision-engineered steel, a low-tech layer of timber and 1350 hand-folded, brightly coloured textile elements which are individually suspended and create a textural coloured canopy providing shade by day and surreal lighting at night.

As part of this commission, JWA and NGV decided that the existing Tait Volley chairs needed a makeover to match the vibrant canopy. Bright pink, purple and the occasional orange Volley outdoor chair and lounger can now be seen sitting happily beneath the colourful structure.

“Similar to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, a high level of engineering sophistication and material specificity is integral to the design in order to delicately balance the duality of span and strength. These properties come from both its form and materiality in equal balance. The structure started its life as a lightweight timber structure and has evolved into something different. Through this process of resolving the design and following the project’s innate ‘invented logic’, it has lead to innovations in its own right.” JWA Architects

The Structure will offer gorgeous shade, an inspired retreat and a place for outdoor performance and workshops across the Summer months. Take time to relax and enjoy this inspired outdoor space space until 1 May 2016, at NGV International.

  • NGV

  • NGV

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