17 December 2015

Mt Ainslie design competition to guide summit's future landscape

| Charlotte
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View from Mt Ainslie

The ACT and Federal governments will hold a national design competition to develop a landscape plan and interpretive strategy to guide the next 10 years of landscape development at Mount Ainslie.

The joint program will call for expressions of interest via www.tenders.act.gov.au and through the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. It will shortlist three firms to participate in a one week design competition with the winning entrants’ preliminary drawings and plans set to be finalised in mid-2016.

Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury said the Mount Ainslie summit was one of the most significant lookouts in Canberra, attracting tens of thousands of locals and visitors each year.

“It has several walking tracks and is the seventh most popular site for tourists due to the panoramic views it provides across Canberra, particularly over central Canberra, Red Hill and Black Mountain,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The current infrastructure at the lookout is both limited and ageing, with the last major upgrade occurring in 1988. “

He said the new plan could feature items such as outdoor seating, picnic areas, sun and wind protection and more comprehensive and coordinated interpretive signage.

Federal Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects Paul Fletcher said the joint project showed that both the ACT and Commonwealth governments were committed to investing in Canberra assets which were unique to the character of the National Capital.

“Mount Ainslie represents the northern termination of Canberra’s central land axis – which takes in the Australian War Memorial and Parliament House – and was depicted in Marion Mahony Griffin’s winning entry for the 1912 international design competition,” Mr Fletcher said.

“There is, through this initiative, a contemporary parallel in having a design competition for the summit. We hope some of Australia’s best landscape architects will be attracted to enter.

“As Mount Ainslie is defined as a Designated Area, the National Capital Authority on behalf of the Commonwealth Government will ensure the planning, design and development of the summit aligns with the principles outlined in the National Capital Plan.”

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People like the Mount Ainslie view because it is free and natural . Do we not have a Telstra Tower with a restaurant 100 meters above the summit that spins with 360 views of Canberra that is empty .

wildturkeycanoe7:10 am 12 Dec 15

Just what we need, another eyesore on top of a beautiful natural feature of Canberra. Like the monstrosity on top of the Arboretum, the only thing these landscapers will come up with is a fancy shmancy thing with shade sails flapping all over the place. Haven’t people heard of wearing hats? You go up to the top of the mountain to take in the view, not to have it blocked by architecture. If structures are built for protection from wind and sun, how are the stargazers going to look up at the night sky? How can one get panoramic views if there are things in the way to stop the wind?
As for the competition, if I read that right it says they will call for expressions of interest, then choose three firms to partake in the competition. Does that mean that nobody gets to show their designs before the shortlisting process? How are the tenderers going to choose who gets to enter if no designs are submitted before the one week competition? Methinks there will some money changing going on under the table.

As for this “ensure the planning, design and development of the summit aligns with the principles outlined in the National Capital Plan”, I can only assume that we will see some medium to high density housing established on the mount, to conform to their master plan of making as much $$ from every square metre as possible.

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