The futuristic convention centre design is either "exciting and refreshingly innovative" or an example of Canberra selling its soul to be fashionable, depending on which architect you ask.
Although the proposed design of the new and expanded convention centre, tipped to cost as much as $700 million and rebadged as the Australian Forum, is only a reference of what it could one day be, already the UFO-like building has prompted debate.
Jack Kershaw, an architect and long-time proponent of saving City Hill from piecemeal development, is a supporter of the "distinctive" design which he believes could be as iconic as the Sydney Opera House and one day even be climbed by visitors.
But he believes it should be located on the three-hectare park at the centre of City Hill to maintain symmetry looking back towards Parliament House and follow Walter Burley Griffin's original vision for a city hall on the hilltop.
"There are a lot of strong feelings about the park on City Hill … it's not accessible, traffic-bound and noisy, you hardly see anyone there," he said.
"It's rather like a decorative centre of a roundabout, there's a lot history in the planning of the trees but we need to move forward and a convention centre is catalyst for that."
But the "contemporary thinking" and artistic expression that attracts Mr Kershaw to the sculptural building is exactly what Canberra architect Enrico Taglietti dislikes about the design.
"It seems to be the fashion [for buildings] to say 'here I am, look how unusual I am, look how silly I am' and it's a trend around the world," he said.
"I dislike thinking Canberra soon will be like any other city in the world.
"We should be unique ... because we resisted the temptation of multistorey buildings, the population growth and I think it will be disappearing soon."
Dr Taglietti did not believe Canberra needed a convention centre as large as the proposed design and believed placing it on the apex of City Hill would be even worse.
"It seems to be wanting to become another Melbourne or another Shanghai and that's no good for Canberra," he said.
He also doubts Canberrans would get value for money from the centre.
But Australian Institute of Architects ACT Chapter president Andrew Wilson said the territory required projects like the centre to generate employment and income for the ailing building industry.
"You're losing expertise and you're losing employment and you're losing revenue," he said.
"It goes back to this place being a central place for meeting, particularly with government, and there is a fundamental need for a convention centre for those sorts of purposes."
He declined to comment on the proposed design of the centre, but said he was looking forward to hearing the ACT government's plan to make the centre a reality.
"Procurement of the new convention centre is a long way from being able to be realised," he said.
"Late last year we were told a convention centre would not happen until well after 2020 until the expenditure on other budget priorities."
Mr Wilson said as the national capital, it was vital the centre for Canberra was a high quality project.
"I'm motivated to get the highest quality we can, if that comes from local industry and local consultants, which I'm sure it can, then that's a good result," he said.