The ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects, in partnership with the University of Canberra is providing an opportunity for young designers to propose ideas to activate a significant public space in the heart of our city.
The competition will draw upon the talents of Canberra’s high school and college students recognising young people as key and active contributors to design outcomes in urban and public spaces.
Congratulation to all those that entered the competition. The high standard of entries and ideas that were generated impressed the jury and emphasised the importance of young designers as both the current and future users of our built environment, and the critical role they have in how our built environment is shaped.
And the winners are:
In the Category for the Best Built Form which focused on the design of a built element
1st Prize - The Greenhouse, with Lachlan Kendall and Adiari Ezekiel-Hart from UC Senior Secondary College, Lake Ginninderra
Greenhouse as a bold proposition is a starting point for us to consider how we can enhance and develop the existing public realm. It is inviting because it considers Canberra’s seasonal changes, by offering warm respite from cold winters. It also cleverly suggests how surrounding cafes and restaurants can grow fresh produce to support their livelihood and linkages to Garema Place
2nd prize - Meet @ G, with Hansheng Li, Charamine Kwok, Georgia Glenn, Miaozi Weng and You Jung Ji from Lyneham High School
Meet@G is a central terminal for Canberra’s light rail, linking the city to other stations in Canberra. It includes a secondary level glazed podium which allows pedestrians to interact, to meet and to rest through a filtered and multicultural layer of shared greetings.
3rd Prize - Garema Cubed, with Maxwell Ashurst, Lisa Wu, Claire Yung, Michael Connolly and Lucinda Antcliff from Lyneham High School Garema Cubed features a collection of mobile cubed elements that can be moved around for seating, shelter, pop-up stages and play. It is innovative and interactive allowing visitors to Garema Place to take ownership of the space by choosing the composition to suit a variety of functions, which allows the space to continually evolve.
In the Category for the best proposal of an event or activity that responded to the physical conditions of Garema Place
1st Prize for Best Activity/Event design - Maxwell Ashurst, Lisa Wu, Claire Yung, Michael Connolly and Lucinda Antcliff from Lyneham High School
The Novel Event recognises the independent origins of traders in Garema Place, often quirky by nature but highly specific to its place. Through a festival of shared storytelling, it will build upon the many layers of our diverse community, bringing us together through the multiple stories that shape our city. It is reminiscent yet still relevant to what is so special about Garema Place.
2nd prize - Narragunnawali meaning “coming together”, with Peter Gedeon, Kiran Phillips, Elise Palethorpe and Georgina Lyall from Lyneham High School
Narragunnawali is an original take on a universal concept - as a Festival of Light – calling upon local artists, musicians and traders to come together to celebrate inclusion. It incorporates locally produced cuisine, artists and performers together with charities to consider our shared commonalities
3rd prize - Switch On, with Eleanor Foster, George Kelleher, Elise Kelleher, Mailani Dalale and Phillipa Hall, from Telopea Park School.
Switch On is focused on developing a share economy –where traders share a space so there are multiple functions for single shops. Daytime traders like florists and cafes share their spaces with night time music venues and bars - keeping Garema Place alive around the clock to effectively and efficiently share space and resources.
- Formal launch of brief and registration online 6 weeks prior to DESIGN Canberra Festival – start of Term 4 – by Monday 19th October 2015
- Registration closes on Friday 20th November
- Briefing sessions available at schools from Monday 26th October to Wednesday 18th November 2015
- Design Ideas and Model Making Workshop with University of Canberra Architecture students as tutors (3 hours x 4 sessions) on Saturday 21st. While encouraged to participate, these sessions are optional but places are limited so need to be booked at registration. Venue ShopfrontX2 on level Level 1, Garema Arcade (building directly north of Garema Place).
- Informal drop in sessions, tutoring during the weekdays of DESIGN Canberra Festival, Monday 23rd to Friday 27th November 2015, 3.00-5.00pm and Sunday 22nd 10am-4pm. Venue ShopfrontX2 on level 1, Garema Arcade. Submission of presentation panels, Saturday 28th November, 9.30am-12 noon, Venue ShopfrontX2.
- Public exhibition of presentation panels, Saturday 28th November, 12.30-3.00pm, Venue ShopfrontX2
- Jury deliberation, Saturday 28th November, 3.30-6.00pm
- Continued public exhibition, Sunday 29th November, 9.30am-12 noon, Venue ShopfrontX2
- Awards ceremony, Sunday 29th November, 12.00 noon-1.00pm, Pavilion X Garema Place
- Participation in panel discussion (by selected finalists) on issues of urban renewal and city building, Sunday 29th November 1.00-2.00pm,Pavilion X Garema Place
- Presentation of proposals and ideas to key stakeholders (by selected finalists), date and venue tbc
- Awards presentation to school assemblies, dates to be coordinated with schools
- Shopfront X2 in Garema Place - Level 1, Garema Arcade (building directly north of Garema Place)
- Pavilion X in Garema Place for Awards announcement
- Presentation by shortlisted finalists at a workshop forum to key stakeholders, venue and date tba
The Competition Brief
“First we shape the cities – then they shape us”
Jan Gehl - world renowned urban designer and architect
Cities provide the forum for where we work, meet, shop, live, share ideas, trade and relax. Its public spaces provide the settings that support these activities. Garema Place, as part of City Walk in the Canberra City Centre, has historically been central to the public life of the city, but in recent times, much of the active life of the city has shifted elsewhere.
Despite brief moments hosting public events and festivals, throughout much of the year, Garema Place lacks activity.
The competition brief invites proposed ideas of activation in 2 key categories:
- As built form or installation(s) – proposals of pavilion or stage, for seating, for exercise, for play, for relaxation.
- As an activity, festival or program of events – as singular or linked activities that considers connectivity to other public spaces in the city or elsewhere
In order to get you started, some key questions to provoke design ideas and direction:
Note: This is not a comprehensive list nor does every question have to be answered. They are intended to spark discussion, and to provide some leads to the issues of priority in your design explorations. The questions identified in bold are aspirational and broad in scope with following questions more specific and intended to invite pragmatic responses.
- What do you want Canberra’s city to be like in 20 years?
What design principles and priorities would you put in place now to achieve this in the future?
- Should Canberra’s city have a unique urban built form or cultural identity?
Can this be defined in physical characteristics of scale, height of buildings, block size, walking distance, types of use etc.?
- What does the city and its public spaces mean to you?
Describe this in both quantitative (functional) and qualitative (sensory) ways.
- What are the critical ingredients needed for a healthy, vibrant and sustainable city?
List your priorities for what makes a space endurable – besides amenity, security privacy, accessibility, connectivity, sunshine, shade, seating, landscaping, trees, art and sculpture, colour, paths for walking and cycling, lighting - what other considerations are there?
- How can our public spaces be more responsive to the community? What activities are lacking in our public spaces?
Which part of our community is less represented or catered for in our public spaces? Consider different age, gender, cultural and social groups (e.g. from toddlers to the elderly, active and handicapped, wealthy and homeless)
- The city supports many festivals and activities during the year. Identity the ones you have attended and why.
List others that you think will contribute to a vibrant and engaged community
- Do you see Garema Place as a thoroughfare or destination point? How do you approach it?
Considering the various modes of car, bus, bike, walk, skateboard, etc. –how would your design cater for the different speeds and entry points?
- What would make you stay longer in in Garema Place?
Are there facilities, services and activities that suit your age group? If not, what would you propose?
Prizes and Award Categories
There are 2 categories for Awards:
- Best built form / installation
This includes a design idea focused on a built element which may be specific to a singular or multiple use e.g. bandstand, pavilion, adventure playground, shelter. Alternatively it could be a sculptural element including a folly or art piece(s)
1st prize - $1,000.00, 2nd prize - $500.00, 3rd prize - $250.00
- Best activity / event
This includes proposals focused around events and activities that respond to the physical and built characteristics of Garema Place and City Walk. Proposals can accept existing conditions as given or suggest how the space(s) can be altered to allow activation of proposed events. These events can be singular or repetitive activities, theme based, seasonal or diurnal, etc.
1st prize - $1,000.00, 2nd prize - $500.00, 3rd prize - $250.00
The Competition Jury will determine and award the prizes. All awards and decisions of the Jury will be final and binding.
There will also be a People’s Choice Award.
Who can enter
ACT high school and college students, Years 7-12, in teams of minimum 1 to maximum 5 students. Students do not have to be from the same year group or class.
We are also accepting multiple submissions (meaning maximum 2) from individuals, so if students want to enter another scheme either on their own, in the same group or with someone else, this offer more opportunity to win an award. When registering please advise the ACT Chapter if you are submitting for than one entry.
This is an equal opportunities competition where selection of finalists will be based on merit.
Relatives of jury members are ineligible and must not assist any eligible person.
How to Register
Registration is free, but entries are limited so register early to avoid missing out.
Registration closes on Friday 20th November, 2015
Register your interest online or by email to email@example.com, with contact details of your key contact registrant, the names of other team members and your school.
The Registration Form (click here to download) (pdf) (docx) will need to be filled in and submitted by each participant in the team. An invitation to participate in one of the 4 Design and Model making Workshops (see Workshop Dates below) with University of Canberra Architecture students on the first weekend of DESIGN Canberra Festival will be included on the Registration Form.
Once your completed form is received and accepted, you will be provided with a Registration Number that will be your identifier on the front of your submission panel. Your nominated Workshop session (time and venue) will also be confirmed.
Completed Registration Forms can be delivered by hand or posted to:
Australian Institute of Architects, ACT Chapter, 2a Mugga Way, Red Hill ACT 2603
They can also be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone 6208 2100 for queries.
After registration, it is expected that your team will initiate and explore ideas independently in response to the Competition Brief Questions (see above). These ideas should be developed in consideration of the specific Award Category, either a Built Form or as Proposed Activity/Event.
If required, an information briefing session by the Competition Organiser can be arranged by your school teacher or school appointed contact person, with an email request to email@example.com. This will be conducted at your school and can include a Question and Answer session to address queries that may arise.
Alternatively, teams will be able to send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject titled “Young Designers Take On Garema Place Ideas Competition”. All questions and answers will be posted on our website and made available to all other registrants.
Briefing sessions (one per school) are available from Monday 26th October to Wednesday 18th November 2015
It is the responsibility of each team to coordinate their own design and development process independently, either outside of school hours or if supported by your school, during school hours. It is expected that the major components of your design ideas and detailed proposals will have been largely explored and finalised prior to DESIGN Canberra Festival.
All teams will have the opportunity to attend a 3 hour workshop on the first weekend of DESIGN Canberra Festival to refine design proposals and learn how to convey ideas graphically in a clear and legible manner. You will be tutored by University of Canberra Architecture students in a dynamic and interactive process in Shopfront X2 (details of venue tbc).
A large scale physical model at 1:50 of Garema Place will be provided to facilitate explorations of design ideas and proposals. It is encouraged that teams use the scaled model to better comprehend the context and scale of the site and to build models of their own design proposals to locate within the base model.
Teams will be invited to take photos of their models in the scaled base model of Garema Place for inclusion on the presentation panel. Alternatively, teams are encouraged to explore opportunities for photo montage compositions using their model within the actual built context of Garema Place.
Shopfront X2 will be open during the weekdays from Monday 23rd to Friday 27th November for informal drop-in sessions by teams or individuals to finalise model making.
Design and Model Making Workshop Dates
- 9am-12 noon Saturday 21st November
- 1pm-4pm, Saturday 21st November
All material required for drawing and presentation during the Workshop sessions will be provided. Materials include foam core panels, pens, pencils, paper for participants and graphic presentation materials.
All material required for making scaled models to be located on a 1:50 base model of Garema Place will also be provided. Materials include cardboard, card, skewers, paddle-pop sticks, wire, pipe cleaners, foam, polystyrene, mesh and many other materials for design exploration
Relevant background information and maps will also be provided. Click here for site information and aerial map 1 and aerial map 2 showing context and details of existing conditions.
Printing and photocopying of images and text will be facilitated at the Shopfront X2 workshop venue.
- 1 x A3 sheet graphically describing ideas for built form / inserted element or event / activity - to be submitted mounted on 5mm foam core board that will be provided at the Workshop
- Maximum 100 words design intent and description of ideas, to be included on the A3 sheet
In keeping with an Ideas Competition format, graphic presentation of ideas can be inclusive of a variety of media including story boards, photo montages, collages, sketches that are hand drawn or computer generated.
Technical drawing skills are not necessary, just an imagination and willingness to explore and develop ideas.
You are required to display the team’s Registration Number in the bottom right hand corner of the A3 board. You are not to include any text or symbol on the front of the panel that could identify any of the individuals in the team or school. Failure to comply with this condition will immediately disqualify your entry from the competition process.
Framed submissions, or those on heavy backing material, will not be accepted.
All presentation panels are to be finalised off site and submitted in the second weekend of DESIGN Canberra Festival, Saturday 28th November 2015.
Drop your Entry submission off to Shopfront X2 Level 1, Garema Arcade between 9.30am and 11.55am. Entries will not be received later than 12 noon
There will be a public exhibition of all entries on the same day Saturday 28th November, 12.30-3.00pm. The exhibition will then be closed for jury deliberation 3.30-6.00pm on the same day
ACT Government representative (tba)
Andrew MacKenzie, Head of School, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra
Jane Easthope, CEO, Canberra CBD Ltd
Andrew Smith, Chief Planner, National Capital Authority
Architect –Ann Cleary FRAIA (architect, senior lecturer at University of Canberra)
Hannah Walsmley, 666ABC Reporter
The Awards ceremony will be on Sunday 29th November, 12.30am-1.30am. All participants together with their families and friends are encouraged to attend
The Chief Minister or Minister for Planning (to be confirmed) will award prizes
A couple of selected finalists will be invited to participate in a panel discussion on the same day of the Awards Ceremony.
Shortlisted finalists will also be invited to present their ideas to key stakeholders including ACT Government and the public. This will be confirmed after DESIGN Canberra Festival, date and venue tbc
Awards will be formally presented at School Assemblies in Term 4
Registrants will retain the copyright and moral rights of attribution and integrity in their entry and the designs embodied in it and will grant to the Australian Institute of Architects and its partners, an exclusive and irrevocable authority to use images of the design for publication, exhibition or promotion of the competition, or for any similar purpose, in accordance with consent as identified on the Registration Form.
Competition Director: Janet Thomson, Architect, email@example.com
Competition Advisor: Kirsty Westaway, Architect, firstname.lastname@example.org
Enquiries may be directed to the ACT Chapter of The Australian Institute of Architects on 6208 2100 or email@example.com
Some Useful Links
Jan Gehl, Hon. FAIA is a Danish architect and urban design consultant based in Copenhagen and whose career has focused on improving the quality of urban life by re-orienting city design towards the pedestrian and cyclist.
Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a non-profit planning, design and educational organisation dedicated to helping people creat and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities.
PPS has great resources for establishing priorities in your design strategy including the following articles and tools:
Eleven Principles for Creating Great Community Places
The Power of 10+: Applying Placemaking at Every Scale
What Makes a Successful Place? Ten Strategies for Transforming Cities and Public Spaces through Placemaking
Creating Places for People is a collaborative commitment to best practice urban design in Australia. It is championed by peak community and professional organisations, businesses and all three levels of government.
Urban design is both a process and an outcome of creating localities in which people live, engage with each other, and engage with the physical place around them. Creating Places for People does not take a one size fits all approach. It provides broad principles that take into account the unique characteristics of a location, people’s enjoyment, experience and health; and encourages excellence and collaboration in the design and custodianship of urban places.
CREATING PLACES FOR PEOPLE: AN URBAN DESIGN PROTOCOL FOR AUSTRALIAN CITIES, see pdf. version
for fact sheet on the Australian Capital Territory, see http://urbandesign.org.au/content/uploads/2015/08/AustralianCapitalTerritory_Urban_Design_Factsheet.pdf
Charles Montgomery, Happy City founder and principal, is an award-winning author, urbanist and leader of transformative experiments, research and conversations about wellbeing in cities. His acclaimed book, Happy City, Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, examines the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness.
for youtube video, see http://tedxvancouver.com/talks/the-happy-city-experiment/
Canberra CBD Limited (CCBD) started after a group of property owners approached the ACT Government with a request to start a business improvement district in the CBD of the nation’s capital.
Canberra CBD Ltd “Transforming Canberra’s City Centre” Discussion Paper, see: http://www.inthecitycanberra.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/TRANSFORMING-CANBERRA-DR2-SP.pdf
Some relevant images to start your own pictorial reference
Garema Place 1965
Canberra Multi-cultural festival
Garema Place – on a normal working weekday
Outdoor dining, Garema Place
Canberra Multi-cultural festival – food stalls
Night view of lighting in trees, City Walk
Street art, location unknown
Skate in the Park, Garema Place
Cafe Alley, Garema Place
Public Art, City Walk
Art, Not Apart Festival New Acton
Christmas Lights in the City
Honky Tonks Night Markets, Garema Place
Examples of how activation can enliven public spaces:
You are encouraged to investigate other examples of public space activation
Before: Broadway and Times Square, New York City, pre-2007. Photo courtesy Department of Transport (DOT).
After: the same location, Broadway at Times Square in 2009, after Gehl Architects worked with the City of New York and the Department of Transport on a major urban realm and bibycle strategy in New York. Photo courtesy Department of Transport (DOT).
Before: Ashrafieyh Square, Amman, Jordan pre-2005. Cars dominate with a lack of pedestrian access. Photo courtesy Gehl Architects.
After: Gehl Architects worked with the Greater Amman Municipality on an urban realm strategy for a car-free, pedestrian-focused public space. Photo courtesy Gehl Architects.
Four bold and progressive ideas for alternative housing options for Canberra have been unanimously selected as the winners of the New Experimental Architectural Typologies (NEAT) competition.
Minister Corbell launched the exhibition and announced the winners and was suitably impressed by the diversity and calibre of the entries.
The collaborative competition – a joint venture between the Australian Institute of Architects, Land Development Agency, Environment and Planning Directorate, and Defence Housing Australia – invited entrants to come up with viable concepts for innovative and compact dwellings suitable for the nation's capital in the 21st Century while also challenging current planning rules.
The prize pool included individual international travel grants worth up to $10,000 and the opportunity for entrants’ submissions to be considered for implementation through the ACT Community Services Directorate and DHA.
Ideas generated through the competition may now provide a tangible basis for the ACT Planning Authority to consider in the drafting of future planning regulations.
After spirited discussion and detailed consideration by the jury 11 entries were shortlisted for further consideration.
|ENTRY 09 project 1 |
| Melinda Dodson, Tim Dyer, Candice Andrews and Phoebe Gordon |
|ENTRY 12 project 2 |
| Andy Macdonald |
|ENTRY 13 |
| Michael Zanardo |
|ENTRY 36 |
| Patanant Luangsangthong |
|ENTRY 37 |
| Amy Leenders |
|ENTRY 40 |
| Martin Urakawa |
|ENTRY 52 |
| Rob Henry |
|ENTRY 56 project 1 |
| Nobbs Radford Architects |
|ENTRY 67 |
| Kieran McInerney |
|ENTRY 74 |
| Tynan Freeman |
|ENTRY 85 |
| Andrew Daly |
NEAT First Prize
Melinda Dodson, Tim Dyer, Candice Andrews and Phoebe Gordon awarded for ENTRY 09 project 1 – HI House.
'The jury was unanimous in acclaiming this as an intelligent and sophisticated look at higher density in Canberra; an approach which questions prevailing attitudes whilst providing a sensitive and thoughtful alternative.'
Read the Jury's full citation for HI House.
NEAT Second Prize
Rob Henry awarded for ENTRY 52 – subMERGED.
'This proposal provides an innovative, fresh approach to increasing densities in Canberra…this entry was deemed to respond very well to the challenge of exploring experimental living options, as a foundation for Canberra to move into its next evolution of development.'
Read the Jury's full citation for subMERGED.
NEAT Third Prize
Nobbs Radford Architects awarded for ENTRY 56 project 1 – FAMILY House.
'This scheme looks at a compact site and how a single house can be accommodated without compromising on the liveability...There is a lot of potential for this scheme to be further developed, and…to have this incorporated into key sites within local neighbourhoods.'
Read the Jury's full citation for FAMILY House.
NEAT Fourth Prize
Kieran McInerney awarded for ENTRY 67 – N.E.A.T STREET.
'This proposal is a design concept that enables flexibility and incremental change for urban redevelopment…The jury agreed that this proposal provided a well-considered approach to the redevelopment of Canberra's residential areas.'
Read the Jury's full citation for N.E.A.T STREET.
The development of Canberra over the past 100 years has resulted in a very suburban styled city that both attracted and now holds the confidence of nearly 400,000 residents. However, the challenges of the 21st century require a modification to the model. As many of the original settlers now age, a far greater demographic diversity is evolving. Cities are always changing, and for a confident future they now have to live more sustainably. Many architects and planners created the Nation's capital. This housing ideas competition is an opportunity for contemporary architects to demonstrate how Canberra can continue to develop as an exemplary, sustainable, innovative and affordable city. Over the past years, planning rules and regulations have been incrementally suppressing the options available for alternative housing typologies. Competitors were invited to be innovative, exciting and challenge the status quo.
Patience, perseverance and effort have been exerted by many people to initiate, manage and realise the ideas in this competition.
Tony Trobe and Natalie Coyles initiated the competition 18 months ago. They envisaged the benefits for the architectural profession to identify the issues surrounding housing design and to make a positive and leading contribution to improving housing design for the future. Tony and volunteers from the ACT Chapter progressively developed the initiative, with the important support of ACT Government.
Tony Carey, as the competition consultant was able to professionally and co-operatively liaise between various government agencies and the Institute, to prepare a succinct and challenging competition brief.
The jury of Alan Morschel, David Sutherland, Alix Kaucz, Kristi Jorgensen, and Hoa Luu brought a diverse range of relevant experiences to their demanding task. They enjoyed the experience of viewing and considering so many quality submissions.
The high level of interest in, and the response to the competition from the architectural profession in Australia was very satisfying to the organisers and further demonstrates the desire of the profession to improve housing design and choices. Eighty-two registrations were made and 61 submissions received. They explored a broad range of housing typologies: courtyard houses, terraces or mews, flats, granny flats, and mixed use complexes of residences, shops, and small offices. The design solutions can be suitably replicable on both green field and infill sites. Affordability was mostly addressed by departing from the planning instruments, especially in the areas of density and dwelling sizes. Reduced car parking numbers, increased density, and reduced setbacks were commonly challenged. Reduced private open space was usually replaced with a well-designed shared community area.
The ACT Government and its Ministers for Planning, Economic Development, Territory and Municipal Services and Housing, through the Land Development Agency and Environment and Planning Directorate have been generous supporters of the New Experimental Architectural Typologies competition.
View the NEAT Competition entries here.
The competition has arisen from a project proposal by the Institute and the ACT Land Development Agency to design and construct prototype homes demonstrating innovative, compact housing typologies on an infill site in Canberra.
A Steering Committee has been established to administer the project.
Independent of the Competition, but following on from it, the Steering Committee (see below) may, at its absolute discretion, shortlist a number of concepts submitted to the Competition for possible design refinement, documentation and construction by the ACT Community Services Directorate (CSD) and / or Defence Housing Australia (DHA) on a specific infill site within Canberra.
It should be noted that concepts design selected by the Steering Committee for the construction project may not be limited to, and may not include, those entries awarded competition prizes. This is due to the fact that these two organisations may have specific client requirements that may not be evident in the awarded entries.
Should CSD and / or DHA decide to proceed to develop the project:
- Shortlisted entrants will be invited to work with CSD / DHA to locate and refine selected concepts on a selected site, so as to address interface issues with neighbouring properties, with other typologies within the site, and incorporate amendments to meet client needs, so as to derive a project masterplan based upon the selected typologies.
- The project masterplan and the typologies selected will then be the subject of inclusive engagement with the community, with the objective of obtaining a masterplan and typologies that are mutually acceptable to all key stakeholders.
- Subject to achieving a satisfactory master planning outcome, CSD / DHA may then, at their absolute discretion, offer design commissions to selected Architects to document the design concepts to DA standard.
- Architects commissioned by CSD / DHA will be offered industry standard terms and conditions, and will be expected to offer industry competitive rates for the services offered.
- ALL ENTRANTS must specify their willingness (or otherwise) to be considered for this post project opportunity.