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Pop-up village to bring life to Lake Burley Griffin

Date

Tom McIlroy

From left, members of the Stomping Ground Collective
on the slab at Westside Acton Park Terry Shaw, Ronan Moss, Alastair Evans and Chris Warner. The slab will be transformed into a pop-up city of shipping containers with food and retail shops.23rd. July 2014

From left, members of the Stomping Ground Collective on the slab at Westside Acton Park Terry Shaw, Ronan Moss, Alastair Evans and Chris Warner. The slab will be transformed into a pop-up city of shipping containers with food and retail shops.23rd. July 2014 Photo: Graham Tidy.

The shores of Lake Burley Griffin's west basin and Canberra's derided futsal slab will become home to a temporary shipping container village and events space in time for the spring Floriade festival.

A rooftop-bar, retail spaces, cafes and entertainment are all part of an $800,000 plan by the ACT government to bring crowds to the area over two years.

Plans for the Westside at Acton Park "pop-up village" were unveiled on Wednesday, with construction of the project's first stage expected to be completed by September, ahead of a second stage later in 2014.

An artists' impression of a new vibrant precinct on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

An artists' impression of a new vibrant precinct on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: ACT Government

The area will include a four-container high village and gathering space constructed with tubular steel on the futsal slab area near Commonwealth Avenue, championed by former Chief Minister Kate Carnell in the 1990s.

Planned to revitalise the area for public use, the village is a precursor to the broader City to the Lake redevelopment project and will include a viewing area overlooking the lake, and a central space for markets, open-air cinema and sporting events.

The project will be built and managed by the Stomping Ground Collective, which includes some of the minds behind popular Braddon cafe Lonsdale Street Roasters.

An artists' impression of a new vibrant precinct on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

An artists' impression of a new vibrant precinct on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: ACT Government

A year-round calendar of events is planned for the park, which will also feature a large digital screen for live broadcasts, free public Wi-Fi and low-cost rent retail spaces for artists, designers and other local traders.

ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr said it would become home to a range of restaurants, cafes, bars, retail spaces, concerts and other events.

"We are very keen to bring the widest range of people into the precinct," he said. 

"We are keen to see local businesses, local food and wine, local entrepreneurship celebrated and this will provide a low cost entry point into an emerging market for a number of these players.

"We will see some existing and well-known Canberra brands that are going to take the next step in their development on this site."

Mr Barr said the park would be at the "cutting edge of innovation" and would link with tourism promotion and branding for the city.

Stomping Ground Collective spokesman and creative force Terry Shaw said shipping container design had been utilised in similar projects in New York, London and in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake recovery.

"The beauty of Westside is that all of its uses are yet to be discovered," he said.

"It will be dynanmic, and won't be a place that is pigeon-holed into certain uses and we are looking for the creative and new ideas... which we expect will include retail incubation, sporting or community events, exploration of technology and social media and arts and culture." 

Stomping Ground has invited expressions of interest from traders, artists and others businesses interested in having a presence at the park. 

Mr Barr said the government would work with the National Capital Authority on the project, coordinated in part by the ACT Land Development Agency.

Opposition economic development and tourism spokesman Brendan Smyth said the project warranted close scrutiny. 

“This is an interesting initiative, but highlights the problem the government has in developing the city centre. We will be watching this closely and examining the cost.”

For more information, contact Stomping Grounds Collective.

25 comments so far

  • A government bereft of ideas..

    Commenter
    wsw
    Location
    ACT
    Date and time
    July 23, 2014, 1:21PM
    • Care to elaborate wsw? I think it's a great idea.

      Commenter
      Mads
      Date and time
      July 23, 2014, 2:46PM
    • As usual the negative people are out and about. nothing better to do that moan and groan. what a sad and boring world you must live in wsw

      Commenter
      dolphin
      Location
      canberra
      Date and time
      July 23, 2014, 4:03PM
  • What an excellent idea. Temporarily testing the attraction and performance of amenities on the water’s edge before committing to millions of dollars’ worth of construction, hard to believe it came out of the ACT Government.

    Commenter
    CBR1
    Location
    CBR
    Date and time
    July 23, 2014, 1:29PM
    • Agreed. I'm on this person's team.

      Commenter
      rusta
      Location
      the berra
      Date and time
      July 23, 2014, 2:04PM
    • modular infrastructure.
      You'd find this more interesting for what it is; once regular infrastructure goes in, people get bored with it quite quickly.

      Commenter
      yoda
      Date and time
      July 23, 2014, 9:32PM
  • Sounds like a good thing to me. Now, if only there was

    Commenter
    Adam Newstead
    Date and time
    July 23, 2014, 2:36PM
    • This is just a brilliant plan. Kudos Canberra. So looking forward to checking out some local artists work then grabbing a bear on the rooftop.

      Commenter
      2601
      Date and time
      July 23, 2014, 2:46PM
      • There's a bear on the rooftop? GET OUT OF THERE RIGHT NOW FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! DO NOT GRAB THE BEAR.

        Commenter
        Stir the pot
        Date and time
        July 23, 2014, 3:15PM
      • Grab that bear! Ha ha!

        Commenter
        Bryan
        Date and time
        July 23, 2014, 3:35PM

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