Prime Minister’s Lodge competition open for entries

February 5, 2013

The design ideas competition for a new Prime Minister’s Lodge, announced in October last year, opened for entry on Australia Day.

Above: Lake Burley Griffin as seen from the site for the new Lodge.

The design ideas competition for a new Prime Minister’s Lodge, announced in October last year, officially opened for entry on Australia Day and will close on 31 May.

Launched as part of the celebrations for the Centenary of Canberra, the University of Canberra and the Gallery of Australian Design invites design professionals, graduates and students from all over the country to enter the competition.

According to the competition’s official website, the design objectives are to propose schematic ideas for a contemporary official residence for the Prime Minister of Australia while reinterpreting the role of the official residence in the 21st century. Entries are required to demonstrate a “modern and distinctive Australian character”, utilising Australian art, craft and creative directions.

The existing Lodge at 5 Adelaide Avenue in Canberra, designed by Melbourne architects Oakley and Parkes, has seen 16 of Australia’s 27 prime ministers and their families take residence since Prime Minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce and his wife Ethel the first moved in on 4 May 1927. The new lodge, if built, will be situated at Attunga Point on the southern foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin.

The competition winner will receive AUD$80,000, with second and third prizes worth $20,000 and $10,000 respectively. The Gallery of Australian Design will mount an exhibition of submissions in the competition later in the year.

Entries will be judged by a jury panel chaired by Professor Lyndon Anderson, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra. Other jury members include Dr Ron Radford AM, director of the National Gallery of Australia; Kerry Hill AO, architect and recipient of the AIA’s Gold Medal award; architect Kerstin Thompson; Howard Tanner of Tanner Kibble Denton Architects and former National President of the AIA; Oi Choong, director of CONTEXT Landscape Design and an AIA Fellow; director of Interni Pty Ltd, Louise Bell; and Neil Hobbs, former president of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

Jury member Dr Ron Radford was quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald last week as saying: “The only good thing about the [current] Lodge is the Australian paintings that are lent by the Australian National Gallery, because it’s got extremely bad furniture”.

“I want to see things that reflect Australia, Australian materials”, he continued.

For more information on the competition, click here.

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