city of design day eighteen – the cameron offices

Sunday, 13 November 2023


Designed in the Brutalist structuralism style of architecture, the Cameron Offices complex believed to be Australia’s first, and possibly only, true example of structuralism.

Designed by John Andrews, and commissioned by the National Capital Development Commission, the Cameron Offices complex were the first major buildings to be built in Belconnen. Construction of the buildings was completed in 1976, the buildings formed part of the original Belconnen town plan and were designed to provide a pedestrian-oriented scheme that followed the slope of the land and connected the complex with the nearby housing, transport interchange, and the yet to be constructed shopping centre.

Despite its carefully planned central location and corresponding design, future planning decisions – involving the relocation of the shopping centre and the construction of a large carpark at its original site – effectively isolated the complex. The changes also created unexpected voids between the wings which caused a tunnel effect and made the area unpleasant for pedestrians, particularly in winter.

Despite a chequered history and severe lack of maintenance, the building is heritage listed, and is included in the Union of International Architects Heritage List, as well as the Australian Institute of Architects’ Significant Buildings of the 21st Century Register.

Image: Cameron Offices. Photo: Soovius, via the Australian Architecture Association.

city of design day eighteen - the cameron offices