Canberra-defining architects and their iconic designs

Posted in Community, Our people, Uncategorised March 15th 2022

The Canberra landscape is full of wonderfully iconic designs and buildings. We looked at 8 architects who designed some VIBs (very important buildings/designs) and why they have made our list.

1. CANBERRA by WALTER BURLEY GRIFFIN

Through an international competition to make Canberra ‘the finest capital city in the world’, Walter Burley Griffin’s designs won, and he defined Canberra. Without him, the Canberra we know and love would cease to exist. So, of course, we had to add this!

 

2. CANBERRA OLYMPIC POOL by IAN SLATER

Ian Slater, an award-winning architect of the Canberra Olympic Pool. Canberrans have loved the pool and its diving boards for 67 years, and architects have loved it for its complex design. But no one ever knows if you can use the 10-metre diving board. Can someone please tell us!

 

3. CALLAM OFFICES by JOHN ANDREWS

John Andrews’ Callam Offices in Phillip—love it or hate it, it’s on your mind either way. We love this building because it’s such a talking point, and it looks like an intergalactic space station. A building like this would almost definitely elicit creativity in the workplace. 

4. THE SHINE DOME by GROUNDS, ROMBERG & BOYD

The architects behind The Shine Dome at the Australian Academy of Science (on McCoy Crescent in Acton) conceived this before Lake BG, microchips, and space travel. For 63 years, this building has inspired cosmologists and astrologists, looked cool and made people feel like they’re floating—a list must-have!

 

Photo by denisbin | https://bit.ly/3IP0a79 | CC BY-SA 2.5

 

5. TORRENS SHOPS by DIRK BOLT

Like a lightning bolt, Dirk was in and out in a flash. The Dutchman resided in Canberra for a good time, not a long time. In six short years, he designed many important and Canberra-loved buildings, namely the Torrens Neighbourhood Centre—AKA Torrens shops. This building is beautiful, retro, and curvy. The Torrens Shops are a much loved and used community facility—how could we not consider him!

 

Photo by Korske | https://bit.ly/3IPQmtH | CC BY-SA 2.5

 

6. GIRALANG PRIMARY SCHOOL by ENRICO TAGLIETTI

Enrico Taglietti’s commercial designs are beautiful and intriguing, and his creations are an integral aspect of many Canberran suburbs. One of those big-name buildings is Giralang Primary School. It’s bold, brutalist, fun, and a Giralang-defining feature! When you think Giralang, you think about this school—fantastico, Enrico.

 

Photo by @anthonybasheer | https://bit.ly/3IQBuLz

 

7. PETTIT and SEVITT PROJECT HOMES by ANCHER, MORTLOCK, MURRAY & WOOLLEY

When you think of a typical Canberra home, one that comes to mind are the Pettit and Sevitt Project Homes designed by Anchor, Mortlock Murray and Woolley. The homes are brick-built with high pitched roofs and gumtrees surrounding them, and they’re an integral feature of many long-established Canberra suburbs. If Anchor, Mortlock Murray and Woolley’s Project Homes aren’t Canberra-defining buildings, then we don’t know what is.

 

Photo by Dcmbyl123 | https://bit.ly/3G98f4N

 

8. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF AUSTRALIA by BUNNING AND MADDEN

Bunning and Madden are the architects responsible for the National Library of Australia. And, if Commonwealth Avenue is part of your daily commute, you love this building. Second to Lake BG, the NLA is one of the prettiest features of your drive from the north side to the south side. And, it’s a literary treasure trove. For those reasons, we had to add Bunning and Madden’s designs!

 

How we categorised them:

CANBERRA + PETTIT and SEVITT HOMES PROJECT HOMES | These architects are have influenced Canberran culture.

TORRENS SHOPS + GIRALANG PRIMARY SCHOOL | These two created beloved landmarks which are still used by everyone within the community. That’s Canberra-defining!

THE SHINE DOME | If you are in or around Acton or have gone to the ANU, you know this place. It’s symbolic to the university and the area!

CALLAM OFFICES | Good or bad, the building evokes something within you. We love that, and love that John Andrews designed it.

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF AUSTRALIA | The NLA is a dearly, dearly loved Canberra building—for its beauty and its services.

CANBERRA OLYMPIC POOL | Ian’s design has been a Canberra memory-maker!