lahznimmo architects in association with ASPECT Studios recently won the Australian National University’s design competition to revitalise the public domain of its Canberra campus. The project is part of a long-term strategy to invigorate Union Court and University Avenue precincts and create a new heart for the campus to complement its leading research and teaching environment.
The winning proposal makes strong references to Burley Griffin’s original 1913 scheme. The proposal envisages University Avenue mirroring Burley Griffin’s Land Axis whilst Sullivan’s Creek mirrors the Water Axis; as though the ANU was an archetype of Canberra itself. Where they meet is the true democratic heart of the campus, Union Court, with activated public spaces and recreational opportunities for all who come to this new Hub.
The character of the public domain is varied throughout the precinct to reflect the different types of spaces, buildings and functions addressing it. These range from laneways and retail through to learning commons; cultural events and student accommodation. Spaces will vary from more active with opportunities for play, student events and markets, while others will lean toward quieter contemplative use. The public domain will be enhanced by a range of fixed and loose outdoor furniture, power outlets and Wi-Fi.