The Victorian Pride Centre in Melbourne would be the first facility in the country to be exclusively dedicated to “LGBTI art and history, [bringing] together advisory, health and support services, and [featuring] community spaces to provide a safe social environment”. The building would serve as “a hub for LGBTI groups and organisations, sharing ideas and resources to further their work in supporting equality, diversity and inclusion across the state”.

Last year, the Victorian Government announced that they would be contributing $15 million towards the construction of such a venue. According to Victoria Pride Centre chair, Jude Munro, the donation was the “single most significant contribution that has been made by any level of government in Australia to the LGBTI community”.

This March, a 1,600-square-metre site in the bayside suburb of St. Kilda – where Melbourne’s annual Pride March has been held since 1996 – was chosen as the eventual location of the Pride Centre. The local City of Port Phillip council donated the $13-million site free of charge.

Now, all the centre needs is a design. The Pride Centre design competition opens to entries this Monday 28 August, and will accept submissions until Monday 11 September.

All architectural practices that have been registered in Victoria for at least ten years, and who have won at least two design awards during that time, are invited to enter. Successful practices must have previously led a project with a budget of more than $10 million. The winning practice will be granted a total budget of $25 million for the Pride Centre, inclusive of consultant fees, demolition costs, construction and interior fit-outs.

The competition will be judged across two stages, overseen by a jury panel of cross-industry experts. The jury for the Victorian Pride Centre design competition will be chaired by retired architect and writer, Dimity Reed, and comprise Tim Bamford (principal of Tim Bamford Consulting), Stephen Barrow (Victorian Pride Centre board member), Sophie Dyring (Schored Projects), Peter Elliott (Peter Elliott Architecture and Urban Design), Jill Garner (Victorian government architect) and Shane Murray (dean of Monash University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture).

Register for the competition here.