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Mount Ainslie design winners announced

By Paul Costigan 25 February 2016 25

Mount-Ainslie-lookout

Take a very hot day, take a small crowd of press and politicians and a few designers – and where would you head on a day of 36 degrees in Canberra. Stay inside maybe? Not this lot – there was something important to be done.

Up they went to the very top of Mount Ainslie. They gathered there to carry out the formalities of announcing the winners of the Mount Ainslie national summit design competition.

The winning entry was by Sue Barnsley, in collaboration with Jane Irwin, both landscape architects from Sydney.

One still hopes that the project delivery will involve local landscape design expertise. The city needs to be providing such opportunities for locals to enhance their skills, experience and profiles. Outside ideas are welcomed – occasionally. But the ACT Government should have a strategy to invest more in locals and to spend money locally on such key projects with local designers who in turn put something back into the local economy.

There’s a load of useful stuff online about this winning design – click here. The design comes in three stages, being 2, 5 and 10 years – so it might be a while yet before the completion of the enhancements to the top of Mount Ainslie.

Mount-Ainslie-design-concept-part-one

Mount-Ainslie-landscape-design

Any project that is spun out over ten years can be altered many times over before it is finally delivered – that’s the story of Canberra right from the very start. It also means that funds will have to be allocated through successive budgets for this whole project to be fulfilled.

I suggest that the new TAMS Minister, Meegan Fitzharris, should get the funds allocated to have the whole project finished in a much shorter timeframe – two years sounds right.

The danger now is that the designers involved with the delivery could get carried away and deliver some infamous archi-park monstrosities (they like them in Sydney). The other extreme is that a dumbing down could happen due to small budgets and the result ends up being boring. Examples of these extremes happen frequently within local governments.

This is a good project and congratulations go out to whoever initiated the idea (I hope they were present – even if they were not named).

We now have to keep our fingers crossed that the new TAMS Minister is capable of keeping a close eye on things, gets enough funds allocated to get the job done properly and soon, and that she does not get bamboozled by the design-speak that consultants and her own project managers often use. Best of luck to her with all of that!

Mount-Ainslie-Design-announcement

The above is the press shot of the dignitaries on the day: being from left to right – Design winners Jane Irwin and Sue Barnsley, the Minister for Transport and Municipal Services Meegan Fiztharris, Senator Zed Seselja and NCA Chief Executive Malcolm Snow.

Have a good look. What is missing? Did they not listen to their mums and their teachers at school? Just where are their hats? I hope their children do not see this. And what are those two dudes doing wearing dark suits out on such an extremely hot day? Whereas the guy to the far right knew how to dress for such an outdoor event.

One last comment – the elephant in the room – with all these new facilities and picnics areas and the encouragement to take your time on your visit to the top of the mountain – no one is mentioning that there are no toilets to be had anywhere up there. Too difficult?

So for now – keep those fingers crossed that this good idea is delivered with sensitivity, is not messed around by too many cooks and that the government gets real and allocates sufficient funds to have it all done sooner rather than later.


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Mount Ainslie design winners announced
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Wayne_k 7:25 pm 02 Mar 16

Masquara said :

with a cosy developer friend given a loose contract…

Remember that the ACT Labor government has longstanding form when it comes to sneaky development practices.

Yes. Yes, they do.

rubaiyat 3:17 pm 02 Mar 16

Mysteryman said :

rubaiyat said :

None of the lazy critics here would ever contemplate the beautiful walk up Mt Ainslie?

They all need their corpulent carcases gently wafted up the long and winding road to park their golden chariots on anywhere they choose.

In the words of The Castle:

“If there’s anything Dad loved more than serenity, it was a big two stroke engine on full throttle!”

and

“Steve could you move the Camira? I need to get the Torana out so I can get to the Commodore.”

We get it; you’re so edgy and progressive because you hate cars and vilify people who don’t. But you should stop deluding yourself that you’re better than others because you’re on board with a poorly thought out plan for light rail.

I don’t hate cars, certainly not in the hysterical splenetic fashion you seem to hate public transport, Light Rail in particular, but I do enjoy pointing out the self defeating nonsense that comes from the waddling incoherent car dupes.

Why don’t you just walk up to the Mt Ainslie lookout, it really is a lovely experience, but I guess you might have to get out of your car. Not a bad thing.

Mysteryman 1:26 pm 02 Mar 16

rubaiyat said :

None of the lazy critics here would ever contemplate the beautiful walk up Mt Ainslie?

They all need their corpulent carcases gently wafted up the long and winding road to park their golden chariots on anywhere they choose.

In the words of The Castle:

“If there’s anything Dad loved more than serenity, it was a big two stroke engine on full throttle!”

and

“Steve could you move the Camira? I need to get the Torana out so I can get to the Commodore.”

We get it; you’re so edgy and progressive because you hate cars and vilify people who don’t. But you should stop deluding yourself that you’re better than others because you’re on board with a poorly thought out plan for light rail.

tuco 12:13 pm 02 Mar 16

Hello Barrel. I’d like you to meet Fish.

rubaiyat 10:43 am 02 Mar 16

None of the lazy critics here would ever contemplate the beautiful walk up Mt Ainslie?

They all need their corpulent carcases gently wafted up the long and winding road to park their golden chariots on anywhere they choose.

In the words of The Castle:

“If there’s anything Dad loved more than serenity, it was a big two stroke engine on full throttle!”

and

“Steve could you move the Camira? I need to get the Torana out so I can get to the Commodore.”

gooterz 5:59 pm 28 Feb 16

tuco said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Granted it’s at least 10 years away according to the published material made available, but what would go in the amenities building if not toilets?

Which begs the other question, why on earth should it take 10 years to complete this project?

Because in 10 years the tram will defy gravity to such an extent it can make it up the hill.

Stand by for crossing the lake on magnets. Or bubbles. Or something.

Defying gravity should be nothing to a machine that can bend space time.. (Needed for the time improvements listed).

dungfungus 5:36 pm 28 Feb 16

tuco said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Granted it’s at least 10 years away according to the published material made available, but what would go in the amenities building if not toilets?

Which begs the other question, why on earth should it take 10 years to complete this project?

Because in 10 years the tram will defy gravity to such an extent it can make it up the hill.

Stand by for crossing the lake on magnets. Or bubbles. Or something.

Or something like extreme hubris?

Masquara 1:44 pm 27 Feb 16

This first stage looks excellent – particularly making sure that the lookout is invisible from the Axis. However, I’m concerned that Andrew Barr might be lulling us with this low-key start, with plans to use it as a Trojan Horse to get large buildings into another stage. Original Canberrans will remember that the Lobby restaurant happened because the Government failed (possibly for a mate) to set out the contract for a food kiosk, and the concession owner turned said “kiosk” into the large Lobby restaurant. There was nothing govt could do. Quite possible for a similar scenario to eventuate on Mt Ainslie, with a cosy developer friend given a loose contract to develop a “small food outlet for tourists”, not specifying height or other constraints, or quietness requirements. We need to watch that space. The competition was conducted very quietly and quickly, without transparency or any effective consultation, which raises a red flag re future stages. Remember that the ACT Labor government has longstanding form when it comes to sneaky development practices.

rubaiyat 11:16 am 27 Feb 16

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

One big negative about this “Award winning” design…there is less parking than presently. The new “grassland meadows” on the kerbside will quickly become dusty wasteland as folks visiting cannot find anywhere else to park. I mean, changing the angle parking to parallel parking on the western side is simply slashing the number of vehicles that can fit in. For what gain? A few more shade trees?
This redevelopment is as big a joke as the tram and most other projects funded by our Labor government.

Were you expecting anything else?

Certainly can’t expect anything from drivers but contempt for everyone and everything else.

Working on the insistent refrain here, the drivers’ anti-social behaviour is the fault of the Government, the Greens and the Light Rail!

NEVER the drivers.

wildturkeycanoe 6:48 am 27 Feb 16

tuco said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Granted it’s at least 10 years away according to the published material made available, but what would go in the amenities building if not toilets?

Which begs the other question, why on earth should it take 10 years to complete this project?

Because in 10 years the tram will defy gravity to such an extent it can make it up the hill.

Stand by for crossing the lake on magnets. Or bubbles. Or something.

Nah, you will have to disembark at London Circuit to board the Skywhale, powered by the hot air coming from the parliamentary triangle area.

shellcase 6:00 pm 26 Feb 16

The air down in the Assembly building must be oxygen-deprived. Remember folks, this is an election year and any, err, “good” news is, umm, “good” news.

wildturkeycanoe 5:13 pm 26 Feb 16

Masquara said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

One big negative about this “Award winning” design…there is less parking than presently. The new “grassland meadows” on the kerbside will quickly become dusty wasteland as folks visiting cannot find anywhere else to park. I mean, changing the angle parking to parallel parking on the western side is simply slashing the number of vehicles that can fit in. For what gain? A few more shade trees?
This redevelopment is as big a joke as the tram and most other projects funded by our Labor government.

Just park further back, down the road … or walk up from the War Memorial?

And if I am the third vehicle with mobility issue occupants to arrive to a full car park, walking up along the gravel roadside or on the road thanks to people parking on the edges, is really only a minor inconvenience? What of the stargazing nights when many people go up to see the rings of saturn, or some organised fireworks display attracts a large contingent? Walking a long way or up hills isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.

tuco 9:06 am 26 Feb 16

Holden Caulfield said :

Granted it’s at least 10 years away according to the published material made available, but what would go in the amenities building if not toilets?

Which begs the other question, why on earth should it take 10 years to complete this project?

Because in 10 years the tram will defy gravity to such an extent it can make it up the hill.

Stand by for crossing the lake on magnets. Or bubbles. Or something.

Holden Caulfield 8:49 am 26 Feb 16

I wonder what the losing submissions looked like.

Nilrem 8:23 am 26 Feb 16

Masquara said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

One big negative about this “Award winning” design…there is less parking than presently. The new “grassland meadows” on the kerbside will quickly become dusty wasteland as folks visiting cannot find anywhere else to park. I mean, changing the angle parking to parallel parking on the western side is simply slashing the number of vehicles that can fit in. For what gain? A few more shade trees?
This redevelopment is as big a joke as the tram and most other projects funded by our Labor government.

Just park further back, down the road … or walk up from the War Memorial?

How culturally insensitive. Laziness and parking on nature strips are the two god-given rights of Canberrans.

miz 7:35 am 26 Feb 16

The design looks interesting.
Toilets, good shade cover and rubbish bins are key aspects for people who use parks for any length of time, but perhaps the govt don’t want Mt Ainslie to be too comfortable for transients/ homeless (a known problem for that area)?

creative_canberran 1:20 am 26 Feb 16

A lot of fluff and hyperbole, not much to show for it in these designs. Still no permanent convenience structure, no improvement to road and parking arrangements. Cutting down the pavement seems sensible, but the native meadow is code for cheap dry grass.

Acton 9:14 pm 25 Feb 16

All this design work and only a “possible future amenities building” (7) – located off on the city side and probably with no direct view to Anzac Parade.
We need a tastefully constructed café with seating/viewing areas for the enjoyment of us residents, visitors, joggers, walkers…

Masquara 5:26 pm 25 Feb 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

One big negative about this “Award winning” design…there is less parking than presently. The new “grassland meadows” on the kerbside will quickly become dusty wasteland as folks visiting cannot find anywhere else to park. I mean, changing the angle parking to parallel parking on the western side is simply slashing the number of vehicles that can fit in. For what gain? A few more shade trees?
This redevelopment is as big a joke as the tram and most other projects funded by our Labor government.

Just park further back, down the road … or walk up from the War Memorial?

gooterz 4:37 pm 25 Feb 16

Has it always looked so anatomically correct?

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