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Photographer's Note

Taken on a recent visit, please see my recent posts for further information.

From wikipedia.

In 1978 the Austrailian government decided to proceed with a new building on Capital Hill, and the Parliament House Construction Authority was created.
A two-stage competition was announced, for which the Authority consulted the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and, together with the National Capital Development Commission, made available to competitors a brief and competition documents. The competition drew 329 entries from 28 countries.

The competition winner was the New York-based architectural firm of Mitchell/Giurgola, with the on-site work lead by Italian architect Romaldo Giurgola,with a design which involved burying most of the building under Capital Hill, and capping the edifice with an enormous spire topped by a large Australian flag. The facades, however, deliberately echoed the designs of the Old Parliament House, so that there is a family resemblance despite the massive difference in scale.

Construction began in 1981, and the House was intended to be ready by Australia Day, 26 January 1988, the 200th anniversary of European settlement in Australia. It was expected to cost A$220 million. Neither the deadline nor the budget were met.
The building was finally opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 9 May 1988, the anniversary of the opening of both the first Federal Parliament in Melbourne on 9 May 1901 by the Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V),and of the Provisional Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May 1927 by the Duke of York (later King George VI).

From above, the design of the site is in the shape of two boomerangs enclosed within a circle. Much of the building is buried beneath Capital Hill, but the meeting chambers and accommodation for parliamentarians are free-standing within the boomerang-shaped arms.

There are 25,000 granite slabs on the curved walls which, placed end to end, would stretch 46 kilometres. The building required 300,000 cubic metres of concrete, enough to build 25 Sydney Opera Houses and has a design life of at least 200 years. The building has 2,416 clocks that are used for voting. On a non-sitting day there could be 2,000 to 3,000 people working there.

The flag flown from the 81-metre flagpole is 12.8m by 6.4m, about the size of half a tennis court. The flagpole weighs 220 tonnes and is made of polished stainless steel from Newcastle, New South Wales. It was designed to be the pinnacle of Parliament House and is an easily recognizable symbol of national government. It is visible by day from outside and inside Parliament House and floodlit at night. The flag itself weighs approximately 15 kg.

Although security has been greatly tightened in recent years, much of the building is open to the public.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Stephen Wilkinson (wilkinsonsg) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 879 W: 48 N: 1446] (8662)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2008-02-13
  • Categories: Architecture
  • Exposure: f/5.0, 1/1000 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2009-03-30 11:13
Viewed: 3325
Points: 4
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