A panel of “eminent” judges are currently examining over 200 entrees to the University of Canberra’s Lodge Competition.
The 224 entries of four panels each will be judged in the Melba Copland Secondary School gym over two days before the winner is announced is on 23 May – 101 years after Walter Burley Griffin was announced as the winner of the international competition for the design of Australia’s Federal Capital City.
Juror, renowned architect and University of Canberra professorial fellow Howard Tanner said it was important to encourage a national conversation around the need for a new Prime Minister’s residence.
“While there are no plans for a new Lodge, the current one is extremely unsatisfactory: it is too small, it adjoins a busy motorway, the security is intrusive and there is no room for family life,” Mr Tanner said.
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“There is definitely a need for a new residence that suits the work and the standing of the Prime Minister of Australia.
“As with anything else, there are arguments about other funding priorities, but the fact remains the current Lodge is no longer up to the job and running repairs are a drain on the taxpayer.
“In my view decisions about the Lodge should be independent of the Prime Minister so it doesn’t become a political issue, the Prime Minister is, after all, an important, but temporary resident. The building belongs to all Australians and it should be a matter of national pride that our Prime Minister lives in a world class residence that showcases the best in contemporary architecture.
“Canberra’s centenary year is the perfect time to have this conversation. And the University of Canberra, as the leader in design in the capital is rightfully at the heart of this discussion.”