The endless possiblities of Lake Burley Griffin
What Canberra could look like as a "City In the Lake".
CANBERRA as a stunning city of canals reminiscent of Venice would bring tourists flocking to the nation’s capital, add millions to the territory’s coffers and remove the North versus South divide that’s split the capital in two.
But despite the endorsement of Chief Minister Katy Gallagher convincing locals to reclaim Lake Burley Griffin to make room for housing was never going to be an easy task.
Luckily, selling the unsellable City In the Lake policy was a fictional task, set in the tradition of the ABC’s hit show The Gruen Transfer as part of the Canberra Marketing Forum.
Two of the ACT’s top advertising agencies, Zoo and Grey presented their ideas to get Canberrans onside for the radical proposal at the forum on Tuesday.
Zoo’s Jimi Bostock said the agency found inspiration from history. Their research showed the committee that judged the international design competition that named the Griffin plan the winner was not unanimous in its decision. ‘‘Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen was the runner-up,’’ Mr Bostock said.
‘‘Griffin’s plan was that of an ideal city while Saarinen’s plan was for a beautiful city.’’
Zoo proposed a ‘Griffin-Saarinen’ plan merging the two 1912 ideas to complete the city with stunning canals, reminiscent of Amsterdam or Venice.
‘‘Fictional briefs are pretty hard but we have a pretty standard way of thinking through things- no matter what the brief is we go through the same process every time.’’
Grey’s head of client services Rhys Morrison said developing the idea and producing the video took two weeks.
‘‘Both approaches were very different and we took a much more light-hearted approach and they took a more serious approach to the task,’’ he said.
Mr Morrison said if the ACT Government choose to make City in the lake a policy, it could be sold to locals.
‘‘We would go about it in a slightly different way, I don’t know if that was a real pitch to the government that would have been the best approach but yeah of course we could.’’
Judge and ACT executive director of the Property Council Catherine Carter said the pitches were hilarious.
‘‘But I couldn’t go past sex appeal.’’
Grey’s Hugh Jackman themed pitch was judged the winner on Tuesday.