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Architects selected to design new Convention Centre

By Canfan - 10 February 2015 29

new canberra convention centre design

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has today announced the selection of architects to create a reference design for a new and significantly expanded Canberra Convention Centre.

Local firm Guida Moseley Brown (GMB) and Rome-based architect Massimiliano Fuksas have been appointed to develop a reference design for the centre. A nine-member judging panel unanimously chose the ‘poetic and sculptural treatment of architectural form’ of the initial design by Fuksas + GMB from a shortlist of seven teams.

new canberra convention centre design

Through the competition, the judges said that Fuksas + GMB demonstrated an outstanding urban design sensibility to the site, transforming and giving primacy to City Hill. The $500m-$700m project will provide Canberra with an iconic new Convention Centre.

Both GMB and Fuksas have a strong track record of successful design and delivery of large-scale public projects.

GMB was responsible for Canberra International Airport, Parliament House and numerous public projects in South East Asia, while Fuksas recently completed outstanding international projects including the New Trade Fair in Milan and Shenzen International Airport in Guangdong, China.

Selecting an initial design is an important milestone in making the new convention centre investment-ready.  Barr says that the next step is for the winning architects to work with the ACT Government, industry and stakeholders to finalise a reference design and business case for the centre.

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29 Responses to
Architects selected to design new Convention Centre
dungfungus 11:47 am 11 Feb 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Leaving aside the questions of whether it is needed, and whether it is an effective use of space, I think it looks fantastic.

The business case will be “fantastic” also, using the dictionary definition of “fantastic” as “impossible to carry out”.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 11:32 am 11 Feb 15

Leaving aside the questions of whether it is needed, and whether it is an effective use of space, I think it looks fantastic.

Mysteryman 10:46 am 11 Feb 15

Maya123 said :

An interesting design; it makes a great impression. Whether though it’s the best use of space, that can be argued. There appears to be a lot of outside open space on the levels, but I guess they would be nice for outside eating areas, etc. Re the National Museum; the entrance makes a good impression when walking up to it and it’s good to see some colour on a building, not just another bland coloured ho-hum building like many others about. The view of it from across the lake is not bad too.
I often think that people who criticise more colourful, adventurous buildings must live in bland, boring houses, probably with a lot of beige. But don’t worry, a high proportion of Canberra architecture out there is like that and you should find plenty to suit beige tastes.

All great points.

And all of them ignore the fact that we don’t need a new convention centre and building one would be a tremendous waste of money for a completely strained and out of control budget.

dungfungus 10:28 am 11 Feb 15

switch said :

Ben_Dover said :

The problem with “futuristic” looking buildings is that as time passes, they soon look dated and silly, take Callam Offices or the Nat Museum for example.

The National Museum always looked like a joke. A certain timeless quality it possesses.

But… but.. but it was an “award winning” design? That’s very un-Australian of you to suggest that it looks like a joke. (ha ha).

Maya123 10:20 am 11 Feb 15

An interesting design; it makes a great impression. Whether though it’s the best use of space, that can be argued. There appears to be a lot of outside open space on the levels, but I guess they would be nice for outside eating areas, etc. Re the National Museum; the entrance makes a good impression when walking up to it and it’s good to see some colour on a building, not just another bland coloured ho-hum building like many others about. The view of it from across the lake is not bad too.
I often think that people who criticise more colourful, adventurous buildings must live in bland, boring houses, probably with a lot of beige. But don’t worry, a high proportion of Canberra architecture out there is like that and you should find plenty to suit beige tastes.

switch 9:04 am 11 Feb 15

Ben_Dover said :

The problem with “futuristic” looking buildings is that as time passes, they soon look dated and silly, take Callam Offices or the Nat Museum for example.

The National Museum always looked like a joke. A certain timeless quality it possesses.

dungfungus 8:58 am 11 Feb 15

rommeldog56 said :

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Another “not needed for Canberra” project. We can’t compete with State capitals which all have international airports and seaside attractions.
The proposed location appears to have changed from lakeside to one of the largest car parks left in the city.
The government won’t be happy until there are no cars in Canberra.

Well you will be out of luck, because the Liberals are pushing for a new convention centre also, so it most likely will happen. Maybe not this futuristic design, but it certainly beats a boring box shaped design.
I believe that car park has been targeted for the new convention centre for many years and the new convention centre will have underground pay parking.

Its a fact of life but parking will dry up in a city centre because its not good use of space.

Canberra is not that big a place – and its built around satellite CBDs too – that there shouldn’t be adequate parking. Its not like we have 4+ million people competing for available car parking spaces.

The more people make excuses like “its inevitable” and “Canberra needs to grow up”, “just sell up and move to a smaller place if u can not afford the ACT Gov’t trippling of Annual Rates”, “the Light Rail business case proves that its viable”, etc, the more rubbish decisions will be made by the ACT Gov’t.

We might as well just go get a frontal lobotomy and just stop talking about these rubbish ACT Gov’t decisions and just accept them.

It can only happen in Canberra…….

The fantasy convention centre is to be named the “Australia Forum”. We already have the taxpayer funded marxist skewed Australia Institute. I wonder what comes next?
The timing was a good “look over there, is that a unicorn?” moment for Andrew Barr given the horrendous state of the Territory’s budget deficit.
Even Barr has admitted is won’t happen until well into the 2020s. That being the case, why waste money promoting architects to provide their impressions?

Ben_Dover 8:55 am 11 Feb 15

The problem with “futuristic” looking buildings is that as time passes, they soon look dated and silly, take Callam Offices or the Nat Museum for example. Who is this going to be marketed to? You cannot rely on Bill Bailey touring each year to fill it. There is no need, nor demand, for this, yet the self important local pollies in the town hall (Leg. Ass.) seem intent on boosting their own egos by spending our money like drunken sailors on shore leave.

Between this and the light rail catastrophe, Canberra will be bust within a few short years. Then all Canberra’s functions as a political and administrative centre can be moved to Sydney where they belong.

rommeldog56 9:55 pm 10 Feb 15

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Another “not needed for Canberra” project. We can’t compete with State capitals which all have international airports and seaside attractions.
The proposed location appears to have changed from lakeside to one of the largest car parks left in the city.
The government won’t be happy until there are no cars in Canberra.

Well you will be out of luck, because the Liberals are pushing for a new convention centre also, so it most likely will happen. Maybe not this futuristic design, but it certainly beats a boring box shaped design.
I believe that car park has been targeted for the new convention centre for many years and the new convention centre will have underground pay parking.

Its a fact of life but parking will dry up in a city centre because its not good use of space.

Canberra is not that big a place – and its built around satellite CBDs too – that there shouldn’t be adequate parking. Its not like we have 4+ million people competing for available car parking spaces.

The more people make excuses like “its inevitable” and “Canberra needs to grow up”, “just sell up and move to a smaller place if u can not afford the ACT Gov’t trippling of Annual Rates”, “the Light Rail business case proves that its viable”, etc, the more rubbish decisions will be made by the ACT Gov’t. We might as well just go get a frontal lobotomy and just stop talking about these rubbish ACT Gov’t decisions and just accept them.

It can only happen in Canberra…….

dungfungus 2:38 pm 10 Feb 15

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Another “not needed for Canberra” project. We can’t compete with State capitals which all have international airports and seaside attractions.
The proposed location appears to have changed from lakeside to one of the largest car parks left in the city.
The government won’t be happy until there are no cars in Canberra.

Well you will be out of luck, because the Liberals are pushing for a new convention centre also, so it most likely will happen. Maybe not this futuristic design, but it certainly beats a boring box shaped design.
I believe that car park has been targeted for the new convention centre for many years and the new convention centre will have underground pay parking.

Its a fact of life but parking will dry up in a city centre because its not good use of space.

I might be out of luck but I definitely be out of pocket, as will all ACT ratepayers.
Convention centres are a sunset industry. This was the situation in the USA 4 years ago:
http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2012/06/stop-building-convention-centers/2210/
I used to go to conventions and trade exhibitions in Europe for several years about 10 years ago. They were in decline then and with the advent of better websites and higher attendance costs sponsors, exhibitors and attendees were bailing out.
Lets be realistic about the appeal and accessibility of Canberra as to say, Cairns (with a real international airport) for holding an convention/trade exhibition in the middle of winter.
It’s a no-brainer isn’t it?
I am aware the the Canberra Liberals also think it is a good idea (me too!) which doesn’t surprise me.
The ACT government seems to be hell-bent on backing losers.

watto23 1:54 pm 10 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

Another “not needed for Canberra” project. We can’t compete with State capitals which all have international airports and seaside attractions.
The proposed location appears to have changed from lakeside to one of the largest car parks left in the city.
The government won’t be happy until there are no cars in Canberra.

Well you will be out of luck, because the Liberals are pushing for a new convention centre also, so it most likely will happen. Maybe not this futuristic design, but it certainly beats a boring box shaped design.
I believe that car park has been targeted for the new convention centre for many years and the new convention centre will have underground pay parking.

Its a fact of life but parking will dry up in a city centre because its not good use of space.

dungfungus 1:38 pm 10 Feb 15

switch said :

But dungers, it looks so, so… Space Age!! How can you resist?

Yeah, it’s ultra-visionary, what the heck, let’s do it! Stuff the business plan.

rosscoact 1:06 pm 10 Feb 15

A remarkable building would be nice for Canberra but I guess we have to cater for the lowest common denominator. Over to you.

switch 12:51 pm 10 Feb 15

But dungers, it looks so, so… Space Age!! How can you resist?

dungfungus 11:59 am 10 Feb 15

Another “not needed for Canberra” project. We can’t compete with State capitals which all have international airports and seaside attractions.
The proposed location appears to have changed from lakeside to one of the largest car parks left in the city.
The government won’t be happy until there are no cars in Canberra.

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