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Winning Canberra Convention Centre design described as "futuristic"

The winners of the competition to design Canberra’s new convention centre on City Hill have been announced as Guida Moseley Brown Architects and Rome-based architect Massimilano Fuksas, but Chief Minister Andrew Barr admitted the convention centre, if it is built, might not look anything like the winning design.

Mr Bar said the distinctive, futuristic design would give only “a sense of the sort of building” that could come to fruition. The design, which beat seven other proposals, will cost between $500 and $700 million. Mr Bar said that to complete the project, private investment would be needed.

“Can I clear one thing up absolutely. It has never been, or will it ever be, the intention of a government I lead to fully fund a convention centre ourselves.”

The type of transport required has also been taken into consideration, with Mr Bar acknowledging the need for light rail services and replacement car parking. The site on City Hill in Canberra, currently has open-air car parking, which is part of the National Capital Authority-controlled Parliamentary Triangle.

Canberra Liberals business and economic development spokesperson Brendan Smyth welcomed the project, but called on Mr Bar to specify exactly how much the government would be willing to spend on the project.

The brief specified a “modern, inspiring” building with the relevant technology for a global environment, as well as potentially a 300-seat plenary hall, exhibition halls, four halls for 2000 square metres each (capacity 800 people) and a large ballroom with space for 1800. Other planned features include 18 meeting rooms, theatrettes and a “centre for dialogue” to host meetings for up to 180 participants.

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