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6 Politically Motivated Cities Built From Scratch

Threatening to end Cairo’s 1,046 year dominance as the country’s capital, earlier this month the government of Egypt announced their intentions to create a new, yet-to-be-named capital city just east of New Cairo. The promise of the more than 270 square mile ‘new New Cairo’ has attracted headlines from around the world with its sheer scale; a $45 billion development of housing, shopping and landmarks designed to attract tourism from day one, including a theme park larger than Disneyland. And of course, the plans include the promise of homes - for at least 5 million residents in fact, with the vast number of schools, hospitals and religious and community buildings that a modern city requires - making the new capital of Egypt the largest planned city in history.

The idea of building a new capital city has appealed to governments across history; a way to wipe the slate clean, stimulate the economy and lay out your vision of the world in stone, concrete and parkland. Even old Cairo was founded as a purpose built capital, although admittedly urban planning has changed a little since then. It continues to change today; see the full list of different ways to build a totally new city after the break.

Image of the planned new capital of Egypt, masterplanned by SOM. Image © SOM Train station. Image © SOM Government District. Image © SOM Concept of Cairo's replacement by Skidmore, Owings and Merril. Image © SOM

Studio Fuksas Selected to Design Canberra's Australia Forum

Italian architects Studio Fuksas have been selected, along with Canberra-based Guida Moseley Brown Architects, to design the Australia Forum, a new national convention centre in Canberra, Australia. Located at one apex of Central Canberra's Parliamentary Triangle, Studio Fuksas describe their design as a "completely transparent and permeable" volume which is "in constant dialogue with the urban context and the environment," integrating into the surrounding hills and the nearby Lake Burley Griffin by reflecting their presence in its skin.

Hotel Hotel Lobby and Nishi Grand Stair Interior / March Studio

  • Architects: March Studio
  • Location: 25 Edinburgh Avenue, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
  • Design Team: Rodney Eggleston, Sam Rice, Julian Canterbury, Jack Crocker, Jono Ware, Haslett Grounds, Patrick Macasaet
  • Photographs: John Gollings, Courtesy of March Studio, Rodney Eggleston

Courtesy of March Studio Courtesy of March Studio Courtesy of March Studio Courtesy of March Studio

Lodge on the Lake Exhibition

In light of the strong responses to their Lodge on the Lake competition, organized in collaboration with the University of Canberra and won by Henry Stephens, Nick Roberts and Jack Davies in May, the Gallery of Australian Design is hosting an exhibition of the submissions to the competition, including models of the entries created specially created for the exhibition.

ARBORETUM / Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects

  • Architects: Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
  • Location: Canberra, Australia
  • Collaborators: Tonkin Zulaikha Greer with Taylor CullityLethlean
  • Area: 4000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Brett Boardman

© Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman

‘The Lodge on the Lake’ Third Prize Winning Proposal / Nic Moore + Monica Earl

Designed by architects Nic Moore and Monica Earl, in collaboration with Lea Fernandez, Darryl Chandler, and Terence Yong, their third prize winning proposal for the Lodge on the Lake understands that a new Lodge needs both to fulfill the requirements of a complex brief, but also to be a strong symbol of Australian domestic and political values. This scheme is sited at the tip of Attunga Point and requires the sculpting of the Lake’s shore in order to bury a low landscape building in the ridge of the promontory. This building is made by fingers of heavy earthen walls, which project into the Lake. More images and architects' description after the break.

‘The Lodge on the Lake’ Competition Entry / Stephen Collier Architects

In this proposal for a new Australian Prime Ministers lodge, the core concept focused around the question; 'What if the British had embraced Indigenous culture in 1788?' Designed by Stephen Collier Architects, they propose to reconfigure and redefine this boundary of the lodge as a ring of landscape that is retained for public use. This land would be defined by a cluster of deciduous trees while public access to Lake Burley Griffin for all Australians will remain in perpetuity. More images and architects' description after the break.

The Lodge on the Lake Winning Proposal / Henry Stephens, Nick Roberts, Jack Davies

Designed by Henry Stephens, Nick Roberts, and Jack Davies, the winning proposal for The Lodge on the Lake returns to the issues bound up in Australian identity and issues of modernity. The lodge is both a development and a critique of the Australian relationship of landscape and dwelling, through an intersection of public assembly, intimate domesticity, and ground plane. From the composed house atop a plinth, to the slippages and interpolations that unravel down toward the lake, the lodge on the lake is a democratic marriage of land and architectural typology, introspective private dwelling, and public assembly. More images and architects' description after the break.

'The Lodge on the Lake' Competition Entry / Other Architects

Titled 'A House That Floods', the design for The Lodge on the Lake by Other Architects imagined re-inserting the narrative of the flooding and emptying Lake George  into the benign, artificial landscape of Canberra. The movement of water acts as a spatial device that dictates and clarifies the otherwise overlapping and confused functions of the Prime Minister's Lodge. Drained or submerged at certain times, the spaces of the house are optimized for ceremonial events and domestic life, public access and secret meetings. More images and architects' description after the break.

The Lodge on the Lake Design Ideas Competition

As part of the celebrations for the Centenary of Canberra in 2013, the University of Canberra and the Gallery of Australian Design invite designers to participate in a Design Ideas Competition for a new official residence for the Prime Minister of Australia. To be located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, this competition highlights the cultural value of the Prime Minister’s residence at Australia’s seat of government and hopes to build national significance. Submissions are due no later than May 4. To register, and for more information, please visit here.

Biosciences Research Building / Lyons

© Dianna Snape © Dianna Snape © Dianna Snape © Dianna Snape

Nishi Sales Suite and Gallery / hungerford+edmunds + OCULUS

  • Architects: hungerford+edmunds + OCULUS
  • Location: New Acton Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • Collaborators: Molonglo Group (client), PBS (builder), Oculus (landscape), Arup (ESD), Design Office (interior fit-out) and Clear (graphic design)
  • Client: Molonglo Group
  • Area: 270.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Nic Bailey

© Nic Bailey © Nic Bailey © Nic Bailey © Nic Bailey

Monash University Student Housing / BVN

  • Architects: BVN
  • Location: Monash, Australia
  • Photographs: Courtesy of bvn architecture

Courtesy of  bvn architecture Courtesy of  bvn architecture Courtesy of  bvn architecture Courtesy of  bvn architecture

Yarralumia Poolhouse / Katon Redgen Mathieson

© Katon Redgen Mathieson © Katon Redgen Mathieson © Katon Redgen Mathieson © Katon Redgen Mathieson

Campus Design Ideas Competition proposal

Phase 1
Phase 1

The proposal submitted by Charles Dewanto, C J Foo, Lorenzo Ju, Yenny Kusuma, Louis Wong, Maggie Chu and Tze Ek Ng for the Campus Design Ideas Competition for the University of Canberra received a supplementary prize for their degree of resolution, ambitious vision for the concourse and quality of presentation. More images and architect’s description after the break.

University of Canberra Campus / MORQ

Courtesy of MORQ
Courtesy of MORQ

Italian architects MORQ recently won a competition to design the University of Canberra Campus in Australia. More images and architect’s description after the break.

Residence of the Spanish Embassy in Australia / Mateo Arquitectura

Spanish architects Mateo Arquitectura have shared with us their project for the official residence of the Spanish Embassy in Canberra, Australia.

More images and architect’s description, after the break.

Anzac Hall / Denton Corker Marshall

  • Architects: Denton Corker Marshall
  • Location: Canberra, Australia
  • Architect: Denton Corker Marshall
  • Exhibition Designers: Freeman Ryan
  • Client: Australian War Memorial
  • Area: 3000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2004
  • Photographs: John Gollings

© John Gollings © John Gollings © John Gollings © John Gollings