Car wash-inspired design wins 2016 NGV Architecture Commission

Yesterday morning Melbourne-based M@ STUDIO Architects were announced as winner of the 2016 NGV Architecture Commission. The winner is a playful reinvention of the suburban car wash. Dimensions were taken directly from an existing car wash in Blackburn.

The design transplants an object of everyday use and familiarity into the unfamiliar surroundings of an art gallery. In place of cement and fluorescent lighting, the structure will have a lightweight steel body with walls made of layered cricket netting and a translucent polycarbonate roof.


The evocative structure will include five ‘bays’ with lanes of bright pink astro turf complete with rubberised humps and road markings.

Topped by a glittering ‘car wash’ sign and illuminated at night, the spaces will be used for events, talks, live music performances and more over spring and summer as well as providing a place for Melburnians to gather, play and daydream.

The whimsical structure will also include two bays replete with hanging curtains of red plastic, while another will diffuse mist recreating the experience of being at the car wash. 


This commission follows the 2015 NGV Architecture Commission winner John Wardle Architects who created a beautiful structure inspired by the Sidney Myer Music Bowl which will be on display until the 1st of May. To see the great commission, head here

The 2016 NGV Architecture Commission will be on display at NGV International from Friday 14th of October 2016 to April 2017. Images were supplied by the NGV.