Landscape architecture luminaries Arcadia have announced the opening of a new studio, to be located in Canberra.

With a number of projects underway in the ACT region, the practice believes it is time to establish a permanent presence within the region. The studio will be headed up by Mitchell Audsley, who joins from AECOM. 

Celebrating ten years since its inception in 2021, Arcadia Founding Principal Alex Longley and Director Michael Barnett have grown Arcadia from a team of two based out of Sydney, to three studios in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The Canberra studio will be Arcadia’s fourth studio with a team of over 50 across the group.

“With teams in Melbourne and Sydney already working on landscape and urban design projects in the surrounding regions, and with a growing demand for an Arcadia studio in the ACT, we saw a clear opportunity to establish a local presence. Canberra is a city known for its high-quality urban design and successful open spaces so we are excited to continue this legacy,” says Alex Longley.

In regards to Audsley, Longley says they have unearthed the right candidate to lead the practice in the nation’s capital.

“Mitchell is the ideal person to join us to lead this practice, bringing his strong local knowledge, including the delivery of the Canberra Light Rail, as well as considerable experience working across a diverse portfolio of complex projects in NSW and Queensland. With our support, Mitchell will shape the business and the culture of our newest studio, using the skills he has developed in over 12 years of design, project management, stakeholder engagement, establishing quality client connections and leading multi-disciplinary teams.”

The importance for quality public space design within the built environment has been further highlighted by the impact of COVID-19, even within Canberra, a city known for its access to open space. Arcadia says it will continue to prioritise healthy outdoor living in the ACT, utilising its proven design approach to deliver city-changing projects which enrich community and Country.

Following a five-year secondment delivering significant infrastructure and master planning projects in Queensland, Audsley returns to his hometown. The new Senior Associate says he is drawn by the opportunity to work on the rich variety of projects underway in a region of such environmental and cultural importance.

“One of the most striking features of the Canberran landscape is the access to open space and the connection to nature. The ACT is undergoing a cultural shift that comes with densification, and the prevalence of these open and natural spaces will only become more important to the community in years to come,” he says.

“I believe that Arcadia’s approach to Connection to Country will strongly benefit landscape and urban design in Canberra. There is an opportunity to work closely with the local First Nations community to preserve the Indigenous identity of Canberra and integrate outcomes sensitively into progressive design. I’m really excited to join the Arcadia team and work with an established and dynamic design firm that cultivates quality design and award-winning outcomes.”

Based in Civic, the Canberra studio will be working on a range of health, education, residential, retail, defence and mixed-use open space projects. Current and recent projects in Canberra and surrounding regions including the Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct, Goulburn Hospital and CSIRO Black Mountain, as well as a number of others.

Arcadia’s new Canberra studio is located at Civic Quarter, Level 1, Northbourne Avenue, Canberra ACT 2600. For more information regarding the practice, visit