NGV opens pink pond for people to cool off in summer

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NGV opens pink pond for people to cool off in summer


A pink pond entitled 'pond[er]' has opened in the garden at NGV International, reminiscent of Australia's inland salt lakes.

The beautiful architectural installation is the the winner of the NGV’s 2021 Architecture Commission in the Grollo Equiset Garden at NGV International. Each year, the NGV selects a commission via a two-stage national competition among architects and designers.

Designed by a Melbourne-based team comprising architecture firm Taylor Knights in collaboration with artist James Carey, the installation offers a space for visitors to cool off during the summer months and “reflect on their relationship with the environment­.”

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It has two key design elements: a body of indigenous plants and a body of water. The body of water is coloured pink with the aim of highlighting the scarcity, importance and political implications of water as a natural resource.

The installation also includes beds of Victorian wildflowers that bloom at different times throughout the installation, which seeks to highlight the beauty, precariousness and temporality of our natural ecology.

Envisioned as a space that becomes part the NGV garden rather than a separate architectural object, pond[er] invites audiences to move through a series of interconnected walkways and accessible platforms. Visitors can immerse themselves within and explore the spaces of flora and water and can even step down and wade through the pink pond.

‘Through an elegant interplay of architectural and landscape elements, this work draws our attention to the challenges facing Australia’s many catchments and river systems, whilst also ensuring that the design itself has minimal environmental impact by considering the future lifecycle of the materials used,” Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, said.

The 2021 NGV Architecture Commission will be on display from 6 December 2021 – 28 October 2022 at NGV International.