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Knobel House, Anthony Knobel
photo Anthony Knobel

What's On in ACT

Solar House Day - Build, Renovate or Buy?
24 July 2019

Solar House Bus Tour
28 July 2019




Policy & Advocacy

The ACT Chapter undertakes a range of advocacy activities on behalf of its members. We make submissions to government, meet with  public officials and parliamentarians, and undertake public education campaigns and events on the value of good design and using local architects. 

Hands Off Anzac Hall Campaign. Read our ACT Chapter President's Opinion piece (26 Nov) HERE.

Read our Letter to the Editor (Canberra Times) 14 Nov 2018 in response to the article: 'Construction industry groups call for crackdown on rogue tradies.' View HERE.

In the Lounge Room

In the Lounge Room is a series profiling the members and colleagues of the ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. Our Chapter President meets interviewees in the Lounge Room or Entertainment Room at the ACT Chapter which was a key space in the original HQ and residence of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in Canberra in 1967. It is still the hub of our ACT chapter activities today

We have many fantastic members at the ACT Chapter. For our first interview we speak with Shannon Battisson, Director of The Mill: Architecture + Design, 2018 ACT Emerging Architect Prize winner, ACT Chapter Councillor and Member of the Chapter’s Sustainability Committee.

Read the full interview HERE

For our second interview we speak to the highly accomplished Architect Hal Guida, Senior Partner at Guida Moseley Brown Architects. Initially a partner of Mitchell/Giurgola Architects in the United States, Mr Guida relocated to Canberra with Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp Architects in 1981 as Partner-in-Charge of Design Co-ordination for Australia’s new Parliament House, for the project’s eight year duration. Hal was also this year’s recipient of the ACT Chapter President's Medal.

Read Hal’s full interview HERE

ACT Chapter: Year of Housing

In June 2017, the Chapter President, Rob Henry,  launched the ACT Chapter Year of Housing, providing a focus for chapter advocacy and education activities around the creation of places for people, particularly around housing.

The activities being undertaken include: 

  • Launching a dedicated platform on our public website for housing, with useful articles, reviews, and exemplar projects that are currently being built in community - Housing Choice: Canberra
  • Assisting our newly founded Housing task force, currently led by Allan Spira, in its goals around advocacy and education on housing choice
  • Distilling the work of the Housing task force and making it available for use in advocacy
  • Engaging with MLA’s and taking them on a bus tour of exemplar projects in the ACT to illustrate new directions in housing affordability, liveability and diversity
  • Delivering a public forum as part of the Design Canberra Festival, where we hosted three seminars on ‘Developing Housing Affordability’, ‘Planning for Affordability’, and ‘Delivering Affordability’
  • Showcasing exemplar Housing Projects in the Design Canberra Festival through an Awards Bus Tour, an Solar House open home day, and the popular Living Rooms program, that brings architecture and art together
  • Contributing to a Public Meets Government initiative, led by MLA Suzzane Orr, appropriately named Making Spaces, where the core topic is "Home"
  • Continuing to work with the ACT Government on the realisation of the NEAT Housing Initiative and future Nightingale Housing developments
  • Continuing discussions with the Planning Authority regarding simplified approvals processes and regulatory reform

Please see below for details of these initiatives. 

Affordable Housing Seminars

The Chapter hosted a lecture series on designing, planning and delivering affordable housing. Speakers with extensive experience in housing development and affordable housing provision presented talks on the topic of designing, planning for and delivering affordable housing in green field or brown field developments. They referenced current case studies demonstrating leading initiatives in affordable housing as well as drawing on their broader experience. The seminars provided an opportunity to learn more from industry peers and other exemplar projects.

Download the summary and propositions developed as a result of the seminars.
Affordable Housing Seminars Design Canberra 2017

Week One, 8 November 2017: Designing for Affordability

Andrew Collins, Director Collins Caddaye Architects
"Design for community managed affordable housing – Common Ground Gungahlin - the architects perspective"

Steven de Pasquale, Head of Development City West Housing
"Design for community managed affordable housing – Platform Housing - the community managers perspective"

Week Two, 15 November 2017: Planning for Affordability

Professor Peter Phibbs, Chair of Urban Policy and Planning University of Sydney
"Securing Affordable Housing through Inclusionary Zoning"

Dr Lindsay Taylor, Senior Partner Lindsay Taylor Lawyers
"Securing Affordable Housing through Voluntary Planning Agreements"

Week Three, 22 November 2017: Delivering Affordable Housing

Tony Carey, Director Tony Carey Consulting
"Affordable Housing through Development – Planning and Partnerships"

Hoa Luu, Design Manager Riverview Projects
"Affordable Housing through Development –Design and Delivery of Affordable Housing"

The ACT Chapter would like to extends its thanks to Sheila Hughes LFRAIA for her efforts in organising  the seminars and compiling the summary and propositions.