Project team:

Client: National Capital Authority, Canberra/AUS
Architects and landscape architects: Johnson Pilton Walker, Sydney/AUS
Civil and structural engineering: Taylor Thomson Whitting, Sydney/AUS
Lighting design: Steensen Varming, Sydney/AUS
Building contractors: Woden Contractors
Electrical contractor: Ecowise

05. Feb 2012

What they are coming up with down under
Kings Avenue Overpass in Canberra/AUS

Text: Emrah Baki Ulas
Photos: Brett Boardman

In October 2011 Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh touched down in Canberra for a ten-day visit to Australia. The plan was to welcome Australia’s monarch to the national capital by lighting the new Kings Avenue over-pass, which leads directly from the airport to the city centre, in red, white and blue. Whether the lighting designers had the queen in mind when they opted for LED lighting is debatable, but the solution is definitely unique and makes for a practical and highly functional solution for the brand new traffic hub.

Canberra is often referred to as the “bush capital”. The city incorporates substantial areas of landscaped park-land as well as natural vegetation and is built around Lake Burley Griffin, the name derived Walter Burley Griffin, a 20th century American architect, who designed the inner-city area. The major roads follow a geometric wheel-and-spoke pattern, with the outer areas of the city, built later, not laid out geometrically. For the people living in and around Canberra, the automobile is the dominant form of transport in Canberra. The new Kings Avenue overpass is key link between the city, Parliament House and the airport, and accommodates around 70,000 vehicles a day. This intersection was formerly Canberra’s highest traffic accident inter-section and one of its worst bottlenecks. The brief for the designers of the new intersection was: to improve traffic flow and safety for motor vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, and to demonstrate community and environmental benefits, to generate improved legibility of the vista along the Kings Avenue side of the Parliamentary Triangle, as envisaged by Walter Burley Griffin, and to create a new national landmark and gateway to Canberra. As a major infrastructure projection a nationally significant site, care and attention has been given to the quality of its design, so that it compliments the high quality of design that has been developed over the years throughout the Parliamentary Triangle. Originality and ingenuity has been achieved in the form and structural design of the new bridge. […]


The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 80/81.

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