Molonglo plans 11-storey car park in City East

Ian Bushnell 19 December 2019 43

An artist’s impression of Londonside. Image: Molonglo.

Molonglo Group plans to build an 11-storey car park with ground-floor shops at the eastern end of the city behind London Circuit.

The innovative property and design group has released initial plans as part of public consultation ahead of a development application.

Called Londonside, the 213-space car park will be built on Block 16 Section 12 adjoining an existing 12-storey commercial building, 221 London, which Molonglo owns and has recently upgraded.

A Molonglo spokesperson says Londonside will meet a genuine demand for additional car parking in Canberra’s city centre as urban renewal proceeds, with a proportion to be set aside for tenants at 221 London.

“As inner city land is liberated for other uses, it makes sense that the consequential loss of lavish supplies of street parking needs to be addressed through concentrated parking structures,” the spokesperson said.

“Parking is also a good use of this parcel of land. Due to a lack of access to light and a variety of other factors, such as access for waste disposal, little else can be done with this location.”

Demand for car parking had been a consistent concern for tenants at 221 London in particular, with just 36 parking spaces available for close to 10,000 square metres of office space.

The precise proportions of tenant versus public car parking had not yet been determined, the spokesperson said.

An experienced parking operator will be engaged but no decision has been made at this stage.

“The site is a location surrounded by facilities that serve not only a city-wide but a regional catchment. They include, for example, the Canberra Theatre, Canberra Convention Centre, Commonwealth Park and Stage 88, and many of the visitors to these facilities come from outside Canberra and travel by car,” the spokesperson said.

It will be close to the Snow family’s Constitution Place development, being built on a former surface car park, and not far from the Legislative Assembly and the Canberra Theatre, which will double in size under redevelopment plans, placing extra pressure on nearby parking.

Although the adjacent Constitution Place will have underground parking, it is believed demands from government offices will limit the number of spaces available to the public.

The development site

An aerial view of the city centre showing the site in red.

Molonglo says Londonside will also be home to three street food micro-tenancies on the ground floor that will ”bring some life to an otherwise rather sedate city street”.

The Molonglo spokesperson says Londonside will be architecturally significant.

“Most car parks are cheap, drab and thoughtless structures. For some funny reason we permit buildings with such functional uses to behave as though they don’t have a responsibility to our streets, our neighbourhood and our city. But they do,” the spokesperson said.

Londonside has been designed by Angelo Candalepas and his team at Candalepas Associates, well known for their work on the Punchbowl Mosque in Sydney.

“The design is of a concrete structure featuring red patterns reminiscent of a Josef Albers print. Its facade is made of a series of culverts cut in half and joined to create a rhythmic, organic horizontality. This choice of material – culverts, which are commonly used, pre-fabricated products – is beautiful in its efficiency and resourcefulness,” the spokesperson said.

The proposed building is brutally honest about its use, saying there is no trick cladding to hide its function as a car park.

“All buildings shape our cities; not just luxury apartment towers and museums, but bus shelters, newsstands, toilet blocks and car parks. We should not ignore that which is unfashionable. Everything is relevant,” Molonglo says.

It says that the structure may even be adaptable for other use in a future post-car city.

Molonglo expects construction to take 14 months.

The consultation period runs until 31 January 2020 and submissions can be made to Anita Delle-Vergini at

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43 Responses to Molonglo plans 11-storey car park in City East
Dony Teller Dony Teller 12:09 am 21 Dec 19

Was light rail to lessen the need to use a car

Winnie Tung Winnie Tung 7:58 pm 20 Dec 19

Well done Molonglo Group - finally someone who’s thinking about the needs of Canberrans! There’s no point having a great city centre if you can’t get parking anywhere! We need another one near Braddon too

Lisa Clegg Lisa Clegg 6:14 pm 20 Dec 19

Wonder how much it’s going to cost us to park there🤔

Dawn Kelly Dawn Kelly 2:54 pm 20 Dec 19

Can they build it by January 😀

Pete Bradley Pete Bradley 10:48 am 20 Dec 19


Rowena Ball Rowena Ball 10:07 am 20 Dec 19

So, 21.3 cars per storey. This building will be a real drawcard for architecture connoisseurs.

Bojan Stojakovic Bojan Stojakovic 9:42 am 20 Dec 19

Grate idea

Gary Thomson Gary Thomson 6:55 am 20 Dec 19

How about building one at Canberra Hospital first with a decent section for staff !!

    Billy Laufer Billy Laufer 9:38 am 21 Dec 19

    Gary Thomson Health care professionals mate

SP Brogues SP Brogues 6:55 am 20 Dec 19

Introducing Automated car parks like in Japan that are double stacking would hold double capacity with less footprint. Why are we so behind on technology in this country ??

    JD Sevi JD Sevi 8:37 am 20 Dec 19

    SP Because we are too stupid, Japans only had them for 10+ years..same for bike stackers. Great tech.

    Greg Carman Greg Carman 8:47 am 21 Dec 19

    The economics of this very expensive way of parking cars sort-of works in Japan because their CBD land is so very expensive. You can't make the business case in Canberra.

    It's the same for the cost of excavating to put parking many stories underground.

    Of course, the whole economic rationale for roads and carparks etc will be drastically altered by driverless cars, probably in the next decade, certainly in the next generation.

Susanne Gardiner Susanne Gardiner 5:27 am 20 Dec 19

Only 213 cars over 11 levels?

Julie Patricia Smith Julie Patricia Smith 12:57 am 20 Dec 19

Just shop somewhere else like online

Sheree Arnts Sheree Arnts 11:15 pm 19 Dec 19

Only 20 ish cars a level? Doesnt sound right?

    Ash Balaretnaraja Ash Balaretnaraja 5:55 am 20 Dec 19

    Sheree Arnts it’s a really small block, currently only has about 15 car parks that service 221 London circuit

Alex Elliott Alex Elliott 10:22 pm 19 Dec 19

Why can't it be built underground and use the above-ground space for public or other more worthwile use?

    Ash Balaretnaraja Ash Balaretnaraja 5:54 am 20 Dec 19

    Alex Elliott costs mainly. Heaps of rock in that part of the city.

    Alex Elliott Alex Elliott 1:22 pm 20 Dec 19

    Ash Balaretnaraja Thx. That's a shame.

    Christina Raymond Christina Raymond 10:53 pm 21 Dec 19

    I wouldn’t mind seeing some mixed use. Like shopfronts on the ground and lower levels, and commercial tenancies above the car park stories. Not dissimilar to Little National in Barton. At least then it’s not just a soulless car park.

    Alex Elliott Alex Elliott 11:27 pm 21 Dec 19

    Christina Raymond Great idea! :)

Caroline Le Couteur Caroline Le Couteur 10:19 pm 19 Dec 19

Public transport anyone? Reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

    Ricky Milne Ricky Milne 11:04 pm 19 Dec 19

    After they switched some bus routes to 2 hourly? Ah, no. Good joke

    Glen Torr Glen Torr 5:16 pm 20 Dec 19

    Caroline Le Couteur Certainly not for our MLAs Caroline, rate payer provided cars and rate payer provided free reserved parking next to the City bus interchange.

    I will curb my car usage when I see some leadership from our pollies.

    You sound quite animal farm, “cars are bad”, “don’t use them”. However you require us to buy you cars and free reserved parking.

    Greg Carman Greg Carman 8:38 am 21 Dec 19

    The less said about the horror story your government has made of the bus service from anywhere south of the lake to anywhere else, including into Civic, the better.

    And as for greenhouse gas emissions, what are you doing about having all government vehicles (including your own, and all the buses) run on better-than-zero-emissions biofuels?

    Caroline Le Couteur Caroline Le Couteur 3:18 pm 21 Dec 19

    Greg Carman THe ACT government has made a commitment to move the ACT government passenger car fleet to zero- emissions. I think it so far has about 40 zero emission cars. I usually take the R4 into the Assembly and very seldom use the parking at the Assembly. Glen Torr - the government does not buy MLAs car except in so far as the government pays us salaries which can pay for cars and many ofther things of course.

    I totally agree that our public transport system is not good enough and have been pushing the government to do better.

    Glen Torr Glen Torr 4:39 pm 21 Dec 19

    Caroline Le Couteur Caroline, The government don’t pay you, us ratepayers do. Last time I talked about this to an MLA they told me part of their renumeration was a ratepayer leased car for them. OK, ratepayers don’t buy you a car, they lease it for you.

    Your behaviour re emissions is commendable but taken as a whole the assembly behaviour is environmentally reprehensible.

    How much international air travel has the greens leader undertaken at ratepayer expense and to what end?

    I am not saying don’t party till the end but don’t tell those you govern not to party as well.

    Greg Carman Greg Carman 6:55 pm 21 Dec 19

    Caroline Le Couteur

    I'm guessing these 40 zero-emissions cars are all electric vehicles.

    The problem with electric vehicles is that the electricity they use either comes from burning fossil fuels, or it comes from renewables which would otherwise be replacing electricity which comes from burning fossil fuels.

    When we have displaced every single fossil-fuel-generated watt of electricity with one generated by zero-emissions means, then we can start thinking about EVs – in the meantime, we have biofuels.

    Greg Carman Greg Carman 11:39 pm 21 Dec 19

    Caroline Le Couteur

    And if any of those cars run on hydrogen through a fuel cell, that's a con as well.

    The only commercially-available hydrogen has been conventionally produced by a process that is emissions-intensive – we will undoubtedly have "green" hydrogen down the track, as a way of converting surplus renewable electricity (on those sunny days when the wind is blowing) into something we can store (although the conventional wisdom currently is that is most likely to be pumping water uphill to await a day – or a night! – when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow, so it can run back down through hydropower turbines, a kind of giant battery, of which Snowy Hydro 2.0 is only the biggest currently proposed), but until we do have plenty of "green" hydrogen, no hydrogen-fuel-cell cars should be chosen ahead of ones that run on biofuels.

Hamish Sinclair Hamish Sinclair 8:30 pm 19 Dec 19

finally! congrats MG!

William William William William 8:18 pm 19 Dec 19

Look what they did at the hospital knock down multi level then rebuilt it the same no more parking 😆

William William William William 8:15 pm 19 Dec 19

Will look like sydney Airport massive parking station,

Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 7:18 pm 19 Dec 19

we nees more car parks in civic

Robert McMahon Robert McMahon 6:53 pm 19 Dec 19

It’ll be beautiful! Something we can visit with interstate friends! 🙄

    Ashley Thomson Ashley Thomson 11:30 pm 19 Dec 19

    At least you'll be able to park close Robert.

Jay Kay Jay Kay 6:47 pm 19 Dec 19

Build parking down, not up

    Tan Choi Heng Tan Choi Heng 9:15 pm 19 Dec 19

    Camm Kelly building down is expensive

    Jay Kay Jay Kay 9:19 pm 19 Dec 19

    Tan Choi Heng of course, however this still shouldn't preclude as such when developing in the heart of our city

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