1 December 2022

Plans lodged for office block, 345 apartments and shops on landmark Anzac Park East site

| Ian Bushnell
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Anzac Park East Portal Office Building

The design of the new Anzac Park East Portal Office Building references the original building and the Australian War Memorial. Photos: May and Russell and DBI Architects.

The heritage-listed Anzac Park East site will be home to a mixed-use residential precinct of 345 apartments across five buildings up to eight storeys high and a nine-storey office block, according to a Works Approval application lodged with the National Capital Authority.

Canberra developer Amalgamated Property Group plans to redevelop the 18,000 square metre landmark site on the corner of Parkes Way and Anzac Parade (Block 2 Section 4 Parkes), and has worked with architects May and Russell and DBI to produce a precinct masterplan for a high-end residential community and retail village.

The former Anzac Park East Portal Building, which mirrored its partner Anzac Park West opposite on Anzac Parade, was demolished in 2019, after standing vacant for more than 20 years.

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Amalgamated bought the site from the Commonwealth for $34.3 million in 2017 and proposes to develop the residential and retail area first, followed by a new office building fronting Anzac Parade between Constitution Avenue and Parkes Way that conforms to the portal principle of the site.

Amalgamated conducted a design competition for the building, won by May and Russell.

Building A will front Parkes Way and contain 66 dwellings; Building B (79 dwellings) will front Parkes Way and part of Wendouree Drive; Building C (52 dwellings) will front Wendouree Drive; Building D (66 dwellings) will front Constitution Avenue, and include commercial tenancies on two levels and a gym and pool; and Building E (82 dwellings) will front Constitution Avenue and the future Portal Office Building, and include ground level commercial tenancies and a residential entry lounge.

The precinct masterplan for the development

The precinct masterplan for the development.

May and Russell’s design for the new 20,000 square metre Portal Office Building takes its cues from the original Anzac Park East Portal Building, containing framing blade corners, while the façades will contain vertical columns to create a “solemn sentinel” response to Parkes Way, Anzac Parade and Constitution Avenue.

But the other side facing the residential precinct will be faceted glass.

Building materials – a sandstone-coloured cladding base, a common white concrete tone for the columns and top, clear glass, and a bronze tone metal window frames – reference other key buildings on the vista, including the sandstone from the Australian War Memorial, and the white tones from the Forecourt of Parliament House.

The application says the Portal Office Building completes the base of the National Triangle to the west of Anzac Parade and contributes to framing the Parliament House Vista.

It will include a range of sustainability initiatives including rooftop solar panels, a building façade design to reduce reliance on mechanical heating and cooling and design, construction and fixtures to support reduced energy and water consumption.

A view of the office building from Constitution Avenue, showing the different facade.

A view of the office building from Constitution Avenue, showing the different facade.

The masterplan envisages a residential precinct of “timeless and elegant” buildings set in landscaped grounds of trees and shrubs that integrate with the formal character of Constitution Avenue and Anzac Parade.

A green plaza will separate Building E and the Portal Office Building, while the centrepiece of the proposed retail village will be a park which will enjoy direct sunlight from the north.

Two views from Constitution Avenue.

Two views from Constitution Avenue.

“Anzac Park East (APE) is destined to be a thriving mixed-use precinct that will re-emphasise the historical and sentimental significance of this site to the city,” the application says.

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“APE has an important role to play in defining the commemorative spine of the Capital, as well as being a symbol of remembrance to the Nation.

“A mix of building types are proposed that will incorporate green open spaces for the public, quality active edges and an urban design that is cognisant of, and consistent with, the site’s heritage placement and landmark neighbours.”

Buildings A and B fronting Parkes Way.

Buildings A and B fronting Parkes Way.

A two-level basement across the entire site will service all buildings and provide 629 parking spaces for residents, tenants and visitors, with access from Wendouree Drive.

A north-south Heritage Walk through site, between the office building and Building E, will link Constitution Avenue to Parkes Way.

A three-metre wide, tree-lined pedestrian/shared path will also be built along the Wendouree Drive frontage to provide unimpeded walking from Constitution Avenue to Kings Park.

Submissions on the Works Approval close on Friday 23 December.

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leonie havnen4:50 pm 03 Dec 22

9 level office block! Crazy! and 350 apartments CraCra! The area is already congested no parking and this development will block views for the majority of tenants in The Parade and Siena complexes. and will be an eyesore from across the lake! I have no issue with commercial and apartments, however the amount of apartments and height of these buildings is outrageous, how about sharing this great outlook with many instead for just a few! It’s all about $$$$$ and not about community and aesthetics.

It actually looks pretty good. Hope the final build matches the drawings and has the stated amount of parking

Wow. Redevelopment of empty sites in this city takes forever. Disgusting that we have to live with derelict sites for many years.

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