NewActon Precinct, Canberra.

Nishi-SketchIn a previous post I showed this artist impression brochure sketch of this new residential and commercial development in New Acton precinct, an area of Canberra.

The Nishi building in particular has been designed with sustainability as a major influence and the entire space, both inside and out, came from a rigorous reappraisal of local and international living trends.  The brochure states:

Guided by passion, conviction, and a desire not to yield to established conventions, sustainable developer and cultural curator, Molonglo Group engaged Japanese architectural practice Suppose Design Office to re-write what urban lifestyle could be.

Nishi-sculpture-1The precinct consists of several buildings and integrates commercial, residential, hotels, and curated tenancies.  There are numerous living options, restaurants, shops, a fitness centre, art gallery, 2 hotels, 8 cinema screens and extensive manicured gardens – many of which are still being completed.  Nishi is almost fully sold but is currently still uninhabitable as building work continues.  Nishi-sculpture-3

Wandering outside many large sculptures  can be viewed and there is seating scattered throughout the multilevel gardens.


Quite impressive is the huge eagle and surrounding ‘trees’.Nishi-sculpture-7

Looking at the photo you think you see some spindly young trees, just what you would expect during a Canberra winter, but that is not the case.  They are in fact metal sculptures which have real saplings just starting to climb them.


Once they are established I imagine the area will be very impressive.

Nishi-sculpture-5The metal tree branches have been maintained as a theme on the seat construction.  Obviously there is still a lot of garden work to be done as the ground is still quite scrubby.

The nearby restaurant continues the eagle theme with a spectacular eagle wing awning spanning the length of the building with the head and beak over the doorway.


The photos look a very bleak because it was a freezing and overcast day to put it mildly.

Walking through the Diamant Hotel you start to see the modern, minimalist, uncluttered arty intimacy of the building interior.

Diamant-5I couldn’t resist this chair in reception even though I didn’t dare sit in it.  Yes, I know, it looks like I’ve Photoshopped it and dumped it in the picture but, no, it is real.

Diamant-3Obviously there is some reason the eagle keeps appearing but I couldn’t find out why.  This large chair is the feature piece in the hotel entrance but I found the light just as interesting when I noticed the spoons used as fittings and the molded inside.

Diamant-4In the bar you see quite a Japanese influence with the appearance of Shoji screens partially enclosing the space.  These lightweight partitions contain the area but don’t close it off from the open plan hotel design.  You can see the screen effects well in the photo below.

Diamant-1Diamant-2Here they have deliberately left the old brickwork exposed and integrated it with the surrounding contemporary effects.  What’s behind the window?  I’ll leave you to visit the hotel and find out for yourself.

Whilst this doesn’t strictly come under the heading of ‘exhibitions visited’ in the context of my continuing OCA education it gives me an appreciation of  structure, large-scale projects and cultural diversity within architectural design.

In a further post I will be showcasing the Nishi building itself.  Once fully completed it is going to be spectacular.


About Claire B

I'm a passionate printmaker, paper-maker and a poor sketcher (which I'm working to improve). I've stitched from early childhood and am a perpetual student, loving learning and participating in everything creative.
This entry was posted in Exploring Ideas: Museums, Galleries, Etc., Textiles 1: Exploring Ideas and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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