‘Casual yet imposing’ design the pick for PMs new home

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A DESIGN incorporating concrete, Australian timber and recycled material has taken out the top prize in the competition to design a new home for Australia’s Prime Minister.

The $80,000 prize was awarded to Jack Davies and his team members Nicholas Roberts and Henry Stephens during a ceremony for the Lodge on the Lake Design Ideas Competition, held at the Gallery of Australian Design this morning.

The competition is a Centenary of Canberra initiative by the University and the Gallery of Australian Design, which invited Australian designers to submit their ideas for a brand new official residence for the prime minister at Attunga Point on the south bank of Lake Burley Griffin.

First prize winner
First prize winner, by Jack Davies
The announcement comes 101 years after Walter Burley Griffin was named the winner of the competition to design Canberra.

Chair of the competition jury and dean of arts and design at the University, Professor Lyndon Anderson, described Mr Davies’ design was “casual, yet imposing”, incorporating concrete, Australian timber and recycled material.

“This design stood out as one that most successfully integrates the built forms with the subtle landscape of Attunga Point,” Professor Anderson says.

“It responsibly owns the landscape, is beautifully sited and celebrates the lake edge location. It also reflects the informal nature of contemporary Australian lifestyles and architecture, while providing attractive larger spaces for public gatherings.”

Competition entrants were required to come up with a design that takes into account the ceremonial, private and security functions of a prime minister’s residence.

They were asked to produce designs for the private home and study, function spaces and support services and a landscape design for the 6.8 hectare site, including a jetty, swimming pool and areas for garden parties for up to 400 people. Their designs also had to take into account ways to showcase works provided through the Australiana Fund.

Professor Anderson says the competition attracted high-quality work from design professionals, graduates and a “strong representation” from students.

“The jury was overwhelmed by both the volume and quality of the entries, in fact by our calculations over 36 years worth of work has gone into creating these designs. It was certainly a tough decision picking the winners from such high-quality submissions.”

“The response to the competition and the quality of the entries is a clear demonstration of the broad appreciation of the significant and pivotal role of the prime minister’s residence, and as a place symbolising Australian design and culture. We’re very pleased with the conversations and interest this competition has started.”

The finalists’ designs will be on display in an exhibition at the GAD from August 15 to October 19.


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