The NewActon Precinct is a mixed-use development centrally located between the Australian National University, Civic and the National Museum of Australia. This area is currently undergoing a major transformation to become Canberra’s premier commercial, retail and residential area. It incorporates the original Acton Hotel which was one of the first public buildings in Canberra.
Essentially NewActon is about people and how they go about their daily lives. It’s about the ordinary and not so much the extraordinary. It’s about the fine grain and the detail. It’s a place where people feel comfortable, a place to meet and a place to enjoy in both a curated and un-curated environment.
OCULUS’ engagement has resulted in a whole of site approach to the private and public domain areas. The landscape design plays an essential role knitting together the various outdoor spaces, architectural styles, artworks and installations. All the buildings are connected by an integrated landscaped public domain, incorporating heritage courtyards and contemporary spaces, and creating a series of external spaces which complement and connect with the internal spaces in the buildings.
As a result, the precinct is one of the most highly activated areas of Canberra with residents, workers and visitors freely mingling and enjoying the buildings and spaces from early morning until late at night. The project has been developed with sustainable initiatives for both the landscape and the buildings.
New Acton, ACT
Australian Institute of Architects (ACT chapter) Commendation for Art in Architecture, NewActon South Tower Art Program (in association with Pamille Berg Consulting, Mark Paine Landscaping and artists Robin Blau, Tim Kyle and Kevin Perkins), 2013