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Winning designs for Canberra Convention Centre in doubt

Winning designs for Canberra Convention Centre in doubt


Artist’s impressions courtesy of GMB and Fuksas

Canberra-based architects Guida Moseley Brown and Italy’s Massimiliano Fuksas have been unanimously judged as competition winners with their designs for Canberra’s new convention centre, set to be built on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

Dubbed as ‘futuristic’ and ‘UFO like’, the designs beat six other submissions under a nine-member jury, including ACT Government architect Alastair Swayne and Australian Institute of Architects gold medallist John Denton.

The artist’s impressions of Fuksas and GMB’s designs reveal a light-filled, slowly undulating structure, with an aerodynamic form set to introduce a hyper modern element to Canberra’s architectural landscape.

Canberra Convention Centre

The commission was announced by Chief Minister Andrew Barr, who hinted of the possibility that the winners’ designs were sure to be altered during the process of finalising a “reference design and business case for the centre”.  A day after his announcement, Mr Barr admitted that if the $700 million building was actually built, the current designs would only provide “a sense of the sort of building” that would be constructed.

Coinciding with the announcement, Canberra Business Chamber’s CEO Chris Faulks revealed in a report on the benefits of this sort of investment in Canberra’s infrastructure that for every dollar invested in the convention centre, $2.40 could be returned into the city’s dragging economy.

Canberra Convention Centre

Calls for a convention centre have been made since as far back as 2008. Faulks says that, “we’d like this to happen in the next 12 to 24 months so it’s built sooner rather than later,” a positive indication of the momentum behind the project.

To what degree the final designs will resemble those that won the architects the commission in the first place remains to be seen.


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