An entry for the design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design. It depicts Julia Gillard greeting Queen Elizabeth II with Tony Abbott emerging from the pool. Click for more photos

The Lodge on the Lake Competition

An entry for the design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design. It depicts Julia Gillard greeting Queen Elizabeth II with Tony Abbott emerging from the pool. Photo: Graham Tidy

  • An entry for the design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design. It depicts Julia Gillard greeting Queen Elizabeth II with Tony Abbott emerging from the pool.
  • An entry for the design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design.
  • An entry for the design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design.
  • News. An entry for the design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design. It depicts Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein.
  • News. An entry for the design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design. It depicts Julia Gillard embracing Barack Obama in the garden as the Governor-General greets the US ambassador and his wife in the background.
  • An entry for the design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design.
  • An entry by architect, Yawen Hu for this design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design.
  • An entry by architect, Yawen Hu for this design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design.
  • Third placed entry by Sydney architects, Nic Moore and Monica Earl for their design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design.
  • A commended entry by Canberra architect, Narendra Kaley of Watson, for his design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design.
  • The third prize winning entry by Sydney architects, Nic Moore
(pictured) and Monica Earl, with their design for the new Prime
Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design.
  • A commended entry by Canberra architect, Narendra Kaley of
Watson, pictured with his design for the new Prime Minister's Lodge,
on display at the Gallery of Australian Design.

Julia Gillard is curtseying to the Queen, while, metres away Tony Abbott emerges from the water, resplendent in his budgie smugglers.

Red Christmas Island crabs scuttle about Her Majesty’s feet, and over on the grass, an indigenous man plays the didgeridoo.

It this meant to be an average day chez the PM?

The third prize winning entry by Sydney architects, Nic Moore
(pictured) and Monica Earl, with their design for the new Prime
Minister's Lodge, on display at the Gallery of Australian Design.

SMOOTH: Sydney architect Nic Moore with his and Monica Earl's third-prize-winning entry in The Lodge on the Lake competition. Photo: Graham Tidy

What goes on in the minds of architects when they’re envisioning a new home, specifically one designed for Australia’s Prime Minister to live and work in?

Surely designing a house with a home office is no big deal, but add to that a 600-person dining hall, room for security and private lodgings befitting the leader of our nation, and things get fun.

It was an unusual challenge for many of the 242 designs submitted for the Lodge on the Lake competition, a Centenary initiative designed to get people thinking about the kind of digs our prime minister should live in, should the day ever come when he or she is able to move out of the decades-old “temporary” accommodation on Adelaide Avenue.

A new exhibition at the Gallery of Australian Design is showcasing 26 of the 242 designs pitched as the new lakeside home.

From a “snow dome” approach, to a house that “floods”, may of the designs embrace the landscape; one entry, that placed the Lodge on an island, even predicted the future by putting Kevin Rudd in the design drawings.

Another shows a grand reception, at which Rudd and his wife, Therese Rein (again, prescient) mingle among their guests. Paul Keating is there, albeit in black and white, and, if you look closer, rock legend Nick Cave is loitering in the background.

Again, just another day at the Lodge.