Winning team, which includes Woods Bagot, beat Adjaye and Chipperfield

Diller Scofidio & Renfro has won the international competition to design a £140m art gallery in Adelaide, Australia.

The US architect, working with Australian practice Woods Bagot, was named winner of the Adelaide Contemporary contest today.

The team beat off competition from other big names including David Adjaye, Bjarke Ingels and David Chipperfield.

The brief is to deliver a 19,500sq m cultural landmark for South Australia on the site of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital, which was built on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people. Part of the building will show Aboriginal art alongside western art.

Competition organiser Malcolm Reading said: “The winning scheme is tightly engineered, works the site hard, but is also a lot of fun.

“It has the potential to speak to new generations who are developing their own cultural identity, and offer a new focus for the city, much needed as Adelaide continues to grow and flourish.”

The scheme contains gallery space, a performance “lab”, a “super lobby” and a suspended rooftop garden planted to invoke a pre-colonial South Australian landscape.

The winning team described their building as a “soft beacon” on North Terrace that would reflect the sky by day and, at night, glow with galleries – allowing visitors to glimpse the art collection when it is shut.

Diller Scofidio & Renfro’s proposals for the Adelaide Contemporary gallery, drawn up with Woods Bagot - Performance Lab

Diller Scofidio & Renfro’s proposals for the Adelaide Contemporary gallery, drawn up with Woods Bagot - Performance Lab

Michael Lynch, who chaired the competition jury, said: “In a city famous for its festivals, the design creates a new place that embraces art in all of its forms and appeals to a broad audience, both local and international.

“The design foregrounds South Australia’s exceptional collections and capitalises on the momentum of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s recent successes in celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture.

“The jury was impressed by the winning team’s assured understanding of the future of art, performance and 21st-century programming, as well as its flair for placemaking.

“It was an inspired insight by the winning team to conceive the building stepping down along the topography of the site and so creating a genuine connection to site and country, respectful to the Kaurna people as well as integrating the Botanic Garden into the design.”

The competition attracted submissions from 107 teams made up of circa 525 individual firms from five continents.

Diller Scofidio Renfro and Woods Bagot_ Adelaide Contemporary_Section Perspective

The full shortlist

• Adjaye Associates (London, UK) and BVN (Sydney, Australia)

• BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen, Denmark) and JPE Design Studio (Adelaide, Australia)

• David Chipperfield Architects (London, UK) and SJB Architects (Sydney, Australia)

• Diller Scofidio & Renfro (New York, USA) and Woods Bagot (Adelaide, Australia)

• Hassell (Melbourne, Australia) and SO-IL (New York, USA)

• Khai Liew (Adelaide, Australia), Office of Ryue Nishizawa (Tokyo, Japan) and Durbach Block Jaggers (Sydney, Australia)