Big architectural ideas: CAPITheticAL

Robyn Archer, Dr Bourke and Prof Norman

IF the creative director for the Canberra Centenary, Robyn Archer, is right, more than 1200 people around the world now know that Canberra is the national capital of Australia.

That’s because, as she explained to a large gathering at the Museum of Australia Democracy in old Parliament House last night, there were more than 1200 expressions of interest, from 24 countries, in the CAPITheticAL international design competition being run together with the Australian Institute of Architects on the theme of how Australia’s national capital might look if created today.

Ms Archer introduced the crowd, most on their way to a performance of Jonathan Mills’ Burley Griffin-inspired musical work, “The Ethereal Eye”, to the judge of the CAPITheticAL jury, Prof Barbara Norman, who described the process which eventually saw 41 students and 73 open category entries whittled down, in an intense but exciting two days, to a shortlist of 20.

Prof Norman spoke of the entrants’ evident commitment to democracy and sustainability in their designs.

The next stage will see shortlisted finalists each receive $1000 to help them prepare final submissions by November this year. The winner will be announced on or around Canberra’s 100th birthday on March 12.

With a total prize pool of $100,000, the first prize winner will receive the equivalent of $70,000. No wonder so many people were interested, Archer said.

It was left to ACT Education Minister Chris Bourke to make the formal announcement of shortlisted finalists, who are as follows: Australian Urban Design Research Centre, Perth; Brit Andresen and Mara Francis of Brisbane; Dirk Bolt of Scotland; Daniel Spence and Kristina Sahlestrom of Sydney and Sweden; Douglas Muir of Canada; DRAFT—Helen Norrie, Jenna Rowe and Elizabeth Walsh of Tasmania; Ecoscape of Fremantle; The Engagement Studio of Melbourne; Dr Paola Favaro and Team, Sydney and International; Garth Cotter, UK; Jones Sonter Architects of Sydney; John Kurko, Gold Coast; Kate Dickinson and Annabel Koeck of Sydney; ParTri – Tony Lam, Vahid Tehrani and Liam Filson of Sydney; MHBC – Armando Lopes, Eldon Theodore and Mackenzie Keast of Canada; Manasi S. Satbhai of India; MUDD – Sydney and International Philip Etchells, UK; Sarah Herbert of Canberra; and Samson Tiew and Beatrice Toh, Melbourne via Malaysia.


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