Gay marriage is a hot political potato in Australia. There’s plenty of talk of a referendum or plebiscite, but nothing has been actually decided or finalised. GAV is designed to push the issue to the forefront.

A popular venue for heterosexual marriages, the gardens behind the NGV have become activated in recent years. We suggested all sorts of unions could occur here; amongst other things, GAV is really just a gay church.

Driving our design approach is GAV re-using the 2015 Pavilion to create a new and evocative work of architecture. GAV is a traversable tensile net structure with a maze of technicoloured polypropylene cords hanging underneath.

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As a fully climbable, interactive, multi-coloured play structure by day, GAV continues the NGV’s push to have children more involved in the Gallery’s program. But when night falls, GAV is re-programmed into a play area for the adults, becoming Melbourne’s hottest new hang.

GAV is also a nod to Roy Ground’s famous NGV entrance. Like the waterwall, visitors are invited to touch and interact with the structure. A series of intersecting arches continue Ground’s powerful entrance motif and create a series of complex and spontaneous spaces. GAV is a chameleon, an artificial rainbow of experience of light, tactility and materiality.

GAV transforms the current grid shell steel structure of John Wardle’s pavilion into a series of unique spaces including an amphitheatre for performances or films during the night, shaded dining and drinking areas during hotter days, a climbing apparatus for kids with gallery fever, a fully manipulable hide-and-seek maze for young lovers and a tranquil surface for lying around, reading or just chillaxing.

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