Page 22 - Southen Exposure - August '22
P. 22

Page 22, Southern Exposure

      Travel from page 21

      design of the capital city. The                                                                      6,000. Like so many other government buildings, it was
      contract to develop the plan                                                                         added because of necessity, until the new Parliament
      for the city of Canberra was                                                                         House was finished in 1988. The rest of the city didn’t
      awarded  to  Chicago  architect                                                                      move as swiftly, being influenced by the Great Depression
      Walter Burley Griffin. Griffin                                                                       and World War II. Twenty years later after opening the
      was born in Maywood, Ill.,                                                                           original Parliament House, the population had only
      in 1876. He attended the                                                                             grown to 17,000; Melbourne still housed the bulk of the
      University of Illinois in Urbana,                                                                    Australian government’s functions.
      and after graduation he interned                                                                       Canberra was looked at as being somewhat in “the
      with Frank Lloyd  Wright                                                                             sticks” because of the provision of services. It just didn’t
      in his Oak Park studio. He                                                                           seem to be gaining momentum as a city until Prime
      started receiving independent                                                                        Minister Robert Gordon Menzies, who in his second
      commissions in the first decade                                                                      stint from 1949 to 1966 established the National Capital
      of the 20  century, mostly                                                                           Development Commission. It was then that the effort got
      residential, that were influenced                                                                    sufficient funding to progress, and as a result, the city grew
      by Wright’s designs. His main                                                                        rapidly from a population of 30,000 in 1954 to well over
      interest then became directed to                                                                     400,000 today (Australian Bureau of Statistics).
      landscape architecture.                                                                                As the capital, Canberra is the site of the Australian
        Griffin  laid  out  Canberra                                                                       National University, National Library of Australia, High
      based upon the “English                                                                              Court of Australia, Australian National Gallery, Australian
      Garden City” concept of strict  View of Canberra from atop Mt. Ainslie                               War memorial, both the Old and New Parliament House,
      separation of functions within a
      community. He also adopted a geometric formalism to the   following the war, Griffin had a
      city plan. He planned that the functions of various buildings   dispute with then Prime Minister
      became independent hubs, from which streets radiated.   William Morris Hughes;  Griffin
      These main types of buildings form the Parliamentary   was removed from the project.
      Triangle, with the government buildings located within the   He went on to design numerous
      triangle and the Parliament House being one of the corners;   other commissions throughout
      the municipal center and the commercial district are the   Australia, and two years before his
      other two. Major roadways have been established on the   death in 1937 he had relocated to
      surrounding hills to provide lines of slight between these   Lucknow, India. The water feature
      functions that are contained in the Parliamentary Triangle.   in Canberra has remained a tribute
      Griffin utilized the prominent hills in the valley and a man-  to him – it was named Lake Burley
      made lake, which is a central water feature of the city, to   Griffin.
      cleverly accomplish all of this. Planned residential suburbs     Construction of the new capital
      such as Woden, Belconnen, Tuggeranong and Gungahlin   progressed rapidly in the 1920s,
      have sprung up and surround the Parliamentary Triangle.   with the first Parliament House
      Each of the self-contained communities has been nestled   opening in 1927. At the time, the
      between hills and waterways that have been left as open   population of Canberra was about  The Parliament House’s sloped lawn roof helps it blend into the landscape.
      space to separate these residential areas.
        Griffin’s supervision of the city’s development
      started in 1915, however, work was put on the back
      burner during World War I. Shortly after work resumed

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                                                                                                           Australian War Memorial
                                                        Canberra’s National Carillon on the shores of Lake Burley
                                                        Griffin                                            Travel on page 23

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