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ANU puts a new sustainable precinct on map for Canberra

ANU puts a new sustainable precinct on map for Canberra

2020 AILA ACT Award of Excellence for Health and Education Landscape

Kambri at ANU was proud to win 2020 ACT Architecture Awards across multiple categories, including Public Architecture, Urban Design, Commercial Architecture, Educational Architecture and Sustainable Architecture.

The Marie Reay Teaching Centre took away The Derek Wrigley Award for Sustainable Architecture, with the building expected to achieve the world’s best practice rating for ecological footprint across its lifecycle – the highest level of achievement for an educational building.

Reflecting on the design of Kambri precinct, ANU Vice-President for Engagement and Global Relations Jane O’Dwyer said “It incorporates a number of elements that offer a new educational, physical, creative and social experience in a village setting, while also reflecting the Indigenous connection in its landscaping and native bush garden.”

The Award of Excellence in Health and Education Landscape is jointly awarded to lahznimmo, BVN and ASPECT Studios for their collaborative work on Kambri, succeeding in their ambition to draw people together within the large ANU campus. The precinct is transformative, linking ‘town and gown’ while acknowledging its campus and indigenous histories (the name ‘Kambri’ was gifted to the university following extensive consultation with local elders).

Kambri carefully marries its public and private realms. Axes are evident and celebrated, and their legibility and accessibility dramatically improved by lifting the University Avenue ground plane and removing the unwanted accretions of time. Sullivans Creek has been substantially rehabilitated and activated by an amphitheatre and stage along its banks. Landscape spaces and buildings combine to form layered and modulated urban, learning and retail environs. Kambri acts as a grand space containing smaller subsidiary areas for people to meet, or for a person to sit and ‘just be’. Thoughtful and coherent, Kambri’s scale, the richness of design and generosity of space will be enduring, further enhanced as its landscape matures.

This revival of the heart of the Australian National University reframed the centre of the campus through introduction of new buildings and associated public domain to create a bustling place for socialising, learning and interacting with the wider Canberra Community. Engagement with traditional custodian groups was an important part of the project and led to the name ‘Kambri’ being gifted by the groups to the university to rename the place. Respect for both the site’s indigenous heritage and the strength of the city’s urban framework designed by Burley Griffin have underpinned our design approach.

Public Domain Team: lahznimmo architects with ASPECT Studios

Architecture: BVN
Project Manager: Colony Six
Contractor: Lendlease

Consultant Team
Structural Engineer: Robert Bird Group
Hydraulic Engineer: Sellick Consultants
Civil Engineers: Cardno
Electrical Engineers: Fredon
Lighting Design: Point of View
Access and BCA: Philip Chun
Indigenous Engagement: David Johnston
Wayfinding: Buro North

Prior masterplan phase:
Urban Design Guidelines by Civitas and Oculus. Urban Design Framework by Civitas, Oculus and Urbangreen. Union Court Placebook by Colony Six/RMS

Deriving its name from the four local Indigenous communities, Kambri at ANU is a new meeting place that weaves together education, community and culture in the one place. Located within Canberra’s city centre within the heart of The Australian National University, Kambri embraces the community with a new cultural centre, cafes, restaurants, bars, pool, gym, art galleries, state of the art teaching facilities, wellness centre and an outdoor public realm all entered around a dynamic events and entertainment program.

Kambari at ANU has been a DESIGN Canberra gold partner since 2019. We are excited to work with them for the 2020 festival.