Dotted across inland Australia are a number of idyllic pink salt lakes (that make a mean road-trip photo opp). But later this year NGV International is bringing one – in pretty-human-made-pond form – to inner-city Melbourne with new installation pond[er].

Winter might be coming, but when pond[er] opens in the warmer months you’ll be able to splash your way through the striking pastel-pink water. Or just take in the spectacle from a series of interconnected walkways and accessible platforms.

The installation – by a local team that includes architecture firm Taylor Knights and artist James Carey – is the winning design of the annual NGV Architecture Commission. The national competition is an opportunity for architects to create a temporary, site-specific structure for the gallery’s Grollo Equiset Garden.

Encouraging Melburnians to take pause and ponder their relationship with the environment, it’ll also highlight the preciousness of water as a natural resource and the precariousness of our plant life. (Also part of the installation will be a collection of indigenous plants, coming into bloom at different times during its limited run.)

“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,” NGV director Tony Ellwood AM said in a press release, “whilst also ensuring that the design itself has minimal environmental impact by considering the future lifecycle of the materials used.”

Pond[er] will be on display at NGV International’s Grollo Equiset Garden from November 2021 to April 2022.

ngv.vic.gov.au