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Canberra Today 1°/7° | Monday, October 25, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Two ACT buildings cement top spots nationally

High Court of Australia

TWO Canberra buildings have cemented spots in a list of the top 10 outstanding concrete works in Australia from the past nine decades. 

The Australian Academy of Science’s famous “Martian Embassy” and the High Court of Australia have made their way to the list, which was released to mark the 90th anniversary of Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA).

Former Government architect and the chair of the judging panel, Peter Poulet says the Australian Academy of Science’s Shine Dome, which was dubbed the “Martin Embassy” when it was officially unveiled 60 years ago, was a classic futuristic structure conceived and built during the space age of the 1950s. 

Australian Academy of Sciences

“The Shine Dome is a testament not only to an optimistic view of the future but also an example of how building materials were being reconceived to represent a dynamic and exciting world,” Mr Poulet says. 

As for the High Court building, Mr Poulet says it’s beautifully crafted monolithic structure imbued with the dignity and status of the highest court in the land.

“Built of reinforced concrete, it exemplified the robust and enduring nature of the institution it contains and represents,” he says. 

The other structures in the top 10 list are:

  • The Sydney Opera House.
  • Australia Square, Sydney -The country’s first “round” skyscraper.
  • The Gladesville Bridge, Sydney.
  • James Cook University Library, Townsville.
  • The Melbourne University carpark
  • Victorian State Offices.
  • Punchbowl Mosque in Sydney.
  • The Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. 

Mr Poulet says the judging panel had whittled down a long list of 45 nominations to 23 finalists, before reaching a consensus on the top 10. 

CCAA CEO Ken Slattery says the top 10 list highlights the aesthetic, environmental and social contribution concrete has made, and continues to make, to Australia’s urban landscapes since the organisation began 90 years ago. 

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