Parliament House Forecourt and Fountains Redevelopment

May 15, 2009
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Architect Stephen Neille

This project reaffirms the formal axis from Parliament House to the city and operates as a new landform upon the existing escarpment. The interior of Parliament House is defined by its ‘Four Grand Rooms’- each refined and intense vessels.

The new forecourt is cleaned-out and is established as a place for public gathering, protest and ceremony. Placed at each end of the forecourt are two lace-like structures alerting the participant to the existence of another world below. These rest above terraced-garden rooms, places we consider to be the 5th and 6th Grand Rooms of Parliament. These outdoor rooms terminate the north and south ends of a new public gallery and restaurant and are kept in dappled shade . These spaces are held by large overhanging wings shielding them from the intense noise of the freeway below.

The wings form the high-points of the cross-ramps set in front of the new public gallery. Conceptually they form a kind of terraced landform, allowing the forecourt to rest upon the escarpment. The ramps provide a long, unfurling experience from the footpaths of Hay and Malcolm Streets, to the new terraced-garden rooms and then to the forecourt above.

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