Full story in The Canberra Times
Early design of new Canberra convention centre released by architects Guida Moseley Brown and Massimiliano Fuksas
This week the ACT Government released a design for a new convention centre for the national capital. The project is known as the Australia Forum and the concept is certainly visionary but few in the industry believe it will actually look like that when and if it is built.
The biggest hurdle is money. The ACT Government certainly cannot afford to build it on their own, which means either the Feds kick in or it is built as a PPP. And the chances of this current Federal Government committing funds are somewhat remote as the only really big expenditure they seem to be keen on is for submarines and strike fighters.
Indeed ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr is quoted as saying “It cannot proceed at that level, with that size, with that design, in that location, without federal government funding. It will also need private-sector support.”
Which is a shame really because our national capital sadly lacks any large, iconic meeting place for events such as APEC or the G20. And these events should be held in Canberra.
However the proposed siting of the Australia Forum also needs to be questioned. It is smack bang in the middle of Northbourne Ave, Canberra’s busiest thoroughfare and at the approach to the major bridge over Lake Burley Griffin.
So just imagine if a major event is held in the centre and a security lockdown if put in place around it – closing the city’s major thoroughfares!
The more logical place to site this building is within the parliamentary triangle – along with the other iconic buildings of national status. Much easier to provide a lockdown and less interruption to the flow of the city. However that is Federal territory – not under the auspices of the ACT Government. It’s complicated.
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