Gallery of Australian Design exhibition
David and Susan Broughton with Alice Male. Photo: Lyn Mills
We know any effort to build a new residence for the prime minister is fraught with danger no matter who is leading the country.
The decision to commission a design, realise it and commit to building it is best left in the hands of those who know best what is needed, where it should be and rather than using public money maybe seek benefactors as happens elsewhere.
The top floor entertainment and reception area of the State Department in Washington DC is a good example of generous donations for the extraordinary fixtures and fittings in a drab concrete building.
But I don’t mean we should strive to have the Clive Palmer wing, the Gina Rinehart atrium or Murdoch & Packer media centre. No, just a succinct reference to contributors in a panel with names engraved in the Ngunnawal language, as it is after all, on Attunga Point - meaning high point - which is where it is proposed to be built.
Stirring the imagination and certainly making the case for an impressive modern building to take us into the next century is the exhibition of entries in the competition to design a new residence for the prime minister.
It is an initiative of the Gallery of Australian Design, GAD, the University of Canberra and the Centenary of Canberra with 242 entries whittled down to some of the finest for the current GAD exhibition open and inviting you to enjoy.
The first and third place winners were there for the official opening and they are so young and talented I had to realise my love of the current PM’s Lodge is linked to the past and it’s time to get a grip and accept that perhaps a new one is a good idea.
The winner Jack Davies has Photoshopped his concept to give us a home merging what looks like copper roofs with the autumnal colours of Canberra even though Attunga Point is ‘‘gum tree gulch’’ all year round, but I love the layout and landscaping is what the point needs anyway. The exhibition continues at GAD until October 19.