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A revival of the heart of the Australian National University

Client
Australian National University

Scope

Public Domain Design, Concept Design, Design Development, Construction Documentation, Construction Administration

Location

Acton, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Team

ASPECT Studios, lahznimmo architects, BVN Architects, ColonySix, Lendlease

Year

2019

Photography

Florian Groehn, Martin Ollman

This revival of the heart of the Australian National University reframed the centre of the campus through introduction of new buildings and associated public domain to create a bustling place for socialising, learning and interacting with the wider Canberra Community.

Engagement with traditional custodian groups was an important part of the project and led to the name ‘Kambri’ being gifted by the groups to the university to rename the place. Respect for both the site’s indigenous heritage and the strength of the city’s urban framework designed by Burley Griffin have underpinned our design approach.

The Kambri precinct provides a legible and memorable landscape framework of plazas, green streets, riparian areas, courtyards and greenways that are linked together and clearly define public space. Much of the landscape works is constructed on a raised podium to enable an integrated public landscape domain between the buildings.

The character of Kambri 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 vary from more active with opportunities for play, student events and markets, while others will lean toward quieter contemplative use. The public domain is enhanced by a range of fixed and loose outdoor furniture, power outlets and WI-FI.