Westside Acton Park

Acton, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

The Westside temporary structure at Acton Park departs from the conventional notion of permanence in architecture, which has hitherto been avidly applied to most buildings erected in the National Capital Zone. Unlike the grand Civic buildings situated adjacent to the central basin, Westside is liberated from a specific program and its associated aesthetic baggage. Instead, Westside is quite literally dynamic, changing its composition depending on the order of the day. As an approach, it turns its back on the now well-exhausted dictum of ‘form follows function’ because it has no specific function.

Sited on an abandoned futsal slab located between Commonwealth Avenue and the West-Basin of Lake Burley Griffin, the four-storey mass is easily visible from key approaches, both vehicular and pedestrian, and provides an opportunity to promote the future vision of the city. The elevated deck on the top floor affords the public with elevated views of the city which are typically reserved for privately owned and/or secure ‘high-rise’ (at least for this town) buildings, thus bringing Canberra’s public space beyond the natural ground.

Moveable temporary structures are nothing new. The Westside project continues this heritage, proving once again architecture’s capacity to reinvigorate an otherwise underutilised, if not forgotten, part of the city.

  • Awards
  • Technical Information
  • Cox Team

Sustainable Architecture Award, AIA ACT 2016

In association with
ACT Government
Stomping Grounds Collective
Project Status
Completed, 2015
Key Consultants
Ken Murtagh, Ignis Solutions, Certis, Paul Wishart, WSP, Weldcraft Engineering
Contractor / Builder
Gross Floor Area