2 – 4 National Circuit


2 – 4 National Circuit

LocationBarton, Canberra, ACT
ClientISPT Property Trust
ServicesMaster Planning, Concept Design, Documentation, Site Observation
Site Area2.2 ha (5.4 ac)
Date2011 - 2013

OCULUS Australia was engaged to develop a cohesive landscape master plan for the surrounds and internal courtyards of the refurbished heritage Art Deco style Patents Office at number two National Circuit and a proposed new building at number four National Circuit.

Both buildings are located within the Parliamentary Zone—the symbolic heart of the National Capital of Australia and the geometric centre of the Walter Burley Griffin Plan for Canberra. The Master Plan sought to respect the Griffin “Garden City” vision and the intrinsic qualities of the Canberra landscape by providing a campus style environment.

Central to the design is a large landscaped plaza that is activated by ground floor retail and building lobby entrances. The plaza provides outdoor seating for office workers to eat lunch or have a coffee and serves as an alternative location to hold informal meetings. The paving pattern consists of a matrix of different granites punctuated by tall conifers trees at scale with the buildings and low ground cover planting and hedges.

Number two National Circuit contains two internal courtyards that allow different uses, including outdoor functions for up to eighty guests as well as contemplative garden spaces to sit and relax.

Both buildings, along with the adjacent Prime Ministers Department, the Attorney Generals Department, and the Australian Federal Police, assume a key role in the daily functions of government, and provide prestigious sites for major government departments and headquarters of major national associations. As such, security is a major consideration. The Master Plan proposed a series of low security walls that provided visual transparency and didn’t compromise the aesthetic of the landscape setting.

A ceremonial drop off is also located off of Kings Avenue with the main vehicular set down area paved to indicate it as a pedestrian priority space.