Northbourne Avenue, Canberra

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Northbourne Avenue
Dickson Interchange, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Bates Smart has designed an activated mixed-use precinct as the home of a new campus-style workplace for the ACT Government at Dickson Interchange. Northbourne Avenue is the first of seven projects Bates Smart is undertaking with Doma Group across Australia.

The design concept supports and enriches the future vision for Dickson town centre, and is a reflection of the building’s unique location as a gateway to both Canberra and Dickson. The orientation of the ACT Government workplace to the axes of the city grid draws a link to Walter Burley Griffin’s original vision, reinforced through a view of Mount Ainslie.

The variety and hierarchy of the project’s public spaces create a new network of places that will enhance a revitalised town centre, whilst acting as an integral link to the new public transport interchange.

The design responds to two different urban programs—a formal civic street, Northbourne Avenue, and the less formal residential and shopping town centre of Dickson. The ACT Government offices are therefore expressed as two volumes linked by an atrium; one ordered and orthogonal providing a civic presence to Northbourne Avenue, with the other being a softer, organic form that connects a new public piazza to Dickson Interchange.

The masterplan creates public spaces with layers of mixed-use activity and permeability. These linked public plazas are part of an 18-hour activation strategy of mixed-use active frontages, including retail tenancies and offices, and serviced apartments. The result is an architectural form and facade expression reflective of its context, sympathetic of its urban and environmental setting and respectful of its historical framework.

Doma Group

44,100 sqm (GFA)