2022 NGV Architecture Commission is an evolving, artist-led reimagining of a Greek icon

Temple of Boom, the 2022 NGV Architecture Commission, is an evocative reimagining of The Parthenon designed by architects Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang with interventions by Australian artists

colourful columns in a park for Temple of Boom, the 2022 NGV Architecture Commission
Installation view of the 2022 NGV Architecture Commission: Temple of Boom, by Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang at NGV International, Melbourne
(Image credit: Photography: Sean Fennessy)

In a unification of art and architecture, the 2022 NGV Architecture Commission at the National Gallery of Victoria sees a colourful rendition of the iconic Greek structure, The Parthenon. Temple of Boom is designed by Melbourne-based architects Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang and meditates on the effects of time as, over the coming months, three artists will contribute to an evolution of the form’s design.

The visual artists for the 2022 NGV Architecture Commission will comprise a multidisciplinary creative, a muralist, and a painter. David Lee Pereira delves into discussions on gender and identity through surrealist floral motifs; Drez plays with perspective through mind-bending expanses of colour; and illustrator and muralist Manda Lane intersperses depictions of nature into the man-made to consider expression and personal growth. The selected creatives have already adorned the structure and will add to its design in three phases, in a demonstration that reflects on our role in affecting change over time. 

Temple of Boom: 2022 NGV Architecture Commission

artwork, colourful pillars and sculpture of a woman at NGV, Melbourne

Installation view of the 2022 NGV Architecture Commission by Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang, Temple of Boom, on display at NGV, Melbourne

(Image credit: Photography: Sean Fennessy)

The structure takes on a size two-thirds of its muse and, as well as a starting point for discussion, it is imagined as a space for community gatherings and cultural performances throughout the Australian summer. The events will include a VR experience to transport us to The Parthenon, live DJ performances, and celebrations of classical architecture. The project invites us to consider ‘how we create and imbue architecture with meaning, as well as how this meaning can shift across time periods and cultures’, comments Tony Ellwood, director of the NGV. 

The design selection was made after five creative teams were shortlisted for the commission, comprising Yang Yang Lee and Louise Allen; Bryan Chung and Patrick Byrne; Antarctica Architects; Austin Maynard Architects; and the winning team, Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang. 

Temple of Boom will be on display in the Grollo Equiset Garden of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Australia until October 2023. ngv.vic.gov.au (opens in new tab)

Coourful pillars and painting of a flower in a park

Installation view of the 2022 NGV Architecture Commission by Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang, Temple of Boom, on display at NGV, Melbourne

(Image credit: Photography: Sean Fennessy)

Aerial view of a colourful parthenon in a park

An aerial view of the 2022 NGV Architecture Commission by Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang, Temple of Boom, on display at NGV, Melbourne

(Image credit: Photography: NGV)

Martha Elliott is the Junior Digital News Editor at Wallpaper*. After graduating from university she worked in arts-based behavioural therapy, then embarked on a career in journalism, joining Wallpaper* at the start of 2022. She reports on art, design and architecture, as well as covering regular news stories across all channels.