The Australian Institute of Architects ACT Chapter has urged the ACT
Government to ensure the Northbourne housing development considers the site’s
cultural and heritage significance.
The Institute encouraged the ACT Government to incorporate the Heritage
Council’s recommendations regarding the preservation of a proportion of the
Northbourne public housing precinct.
According to ACT Chapter President Andrew Wilson, the Institute supports
the ACT Government’s commitment to improving the quality of building design in
the Territory and the urban densification of the city including the
redevelopment of the Northbourne precinct. However, it’s important that any
proposed design incorporates the heritage attributes of the original housing
Observing that heritage architecture contributed a rich layer to the
fabric of the city, he explained that the governance, planning and design
processes should be able to respond in a positive and nuanced way to the
complexities of inner city redevelopment, without being compromised by reliance
on land development to fund infrastructure.
Wilson noted that despite the current state of some of the buildings
within the precinct, there was architectural merit in the Post-war
International Style of the original Sydney Ancher Northbourne housing scheme.
Extending the Institute’s support for the
Government’s decision to develop the Northbourne precinct, he said it was
important for the city’s growth that densification was increased within the
current city limits as opposed to the sale of greenfield sites. The Institute
is confident a high quality design sympathetic to the site’s heritage can be
found for this important development.