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The Lodge on the Lake Design Ideas Competition

1. The Competition

The Lodge for the Prime Minister of Australia.
More details here
Mr and Mrs Stanley Melbourne Bruce
Design Brief.
More details here
Design Brief
Competition Conditions.
Read them here
Competition Conditions
View them here.
Parliament House

A competition to design a new official residence for the Prime Minister of Australia


1.1 The Invitation

As part of the celebrations for the Centenary of Canberra in 2013, the University of Canberra and the Gallery of Australian Design invite designers to participate in a Design Ideas Competition for a new official residence for the Prime Minister of Australia on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra. 

The competition is significant because of the role and cultural value of the Prime Minister’s residence at Australia’s seat of government. It is an exciting competition for a building of national significance, seeking design solutions that will spark the national imagination and stimulate debate throughout Australia. 

The competition has the endorsement of the Australian Institute of Architects and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. 

This is a single stage ideas competition. It will be conducted in accordance with the design brief and competition conditions. Entry to the competition is subject to acceptance of the competition conditions.

The first prize is $80,000 with second and third prizes of $20,000 and $10,000 (Australian Dollars).

The competition is not connected to any agency of the Australian Government or to any Australian political party. The Sponsors are not aware of any intention by the Australian Government to build a new Lodge for the Prime Minister.

1.2. Competition Sponsors

The Sponsors for this competition are the University of Canberra (the University) and the Gallery of Australian Design (the GAD). This competition is part of the Sponsor’s’ commitment to the Centenary of Canberra. 

The University of Canberra is Australia’s Capital University. It supports education for all stages of life and conducts research and creative practice for the benefit of society.  The University shares many features of other high quality universities, but its reflection of the dimensions of Australia’s national capital city differentiates it from other Australian universities.

The GAD in Canberra explores and promotes Australian design through exhibitions, discourse and events and is host to international design exhibitions for Australian audiences. The GAD is a partnership of the University of Canberra, the Australian Institute of Architects, the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects and the National Museum of Australia.

Details of the Sponsors can be found at:

1.3  Competition Advisory Panel 

The Advisory Panel has directed the development of the competition including its objectives, the conditions of the competition and the selection of the jury.

Advisory Panel members:

Professor Lyndon Anderson (Chair)

Lyndon Anderson is Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra. In 2011 he was made a Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) for his contribution to the design industry and is currently the President of the ACT Branch of the DIA. Professor Anderson is also the Chair of the GAD Governing Council and an executive member of the Australian Deans of the Built Environment and Design. Prior to entering academia, Professor Anderson worked extensively as an industrial designer in the UK and has had work exhibited in major venues throughout Europe, America and Asia.

Dr John Mackay AM, Chancellor of the University of Canberra

John Mackay is the Chancellor of the University of Canberra. For the past decade he has been CEO of Canberra’s major utility company ActewAGL, chairman of three major companies and director of two national companies in health care and property development. Dr Mackay has had a long and distinguished career in the public service including a period in charge of all of Australia's diplomatic properties (design, fit out and construction). He currently Chairs the Board of the Canberra International Arboretum and is a member of the Canberra Raiders Board. He is an alumnus of the University of Canberra. He has a great passion for Canberra and in 2009 he was Canberra Citizen of the Year.

Dr Michael Bryce AM AE

Michael Bryce is the Patron of the GAD and in 2006 was inducted into the Australian Design Hall of Fame. He is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and of the Design Institute of Australia, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, former federal president of the Design Institute of Australia and former member of the Design Board of the Australia Council. He has received many design awards and was the principal design adviser to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. He has also served on numerous community and cultural boards and is the Patron of the ACT Brumbies. He is an Adjunct Professor of Architecture and Design at the University of Canberra and has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Queensland and the University of Canberra.

Mr David Parken

David Parken is the Chief Executive of the Australian Institute of Architects and a former National President. He is a Director of Livable Housing Australia, a member of the Australian Construction Industry Forum, Director of the Australian Services Roundtable and an executive member of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) - including as a former chair of the Climate Change Task Group and current chair of the Sustainable Built Environment Framework Task Group. He is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a recipient of the AIA President's Medal and of an Honorary Fellowship of the New Zealand Institute of Architects. David Parken is also a member of the GAD Governing Council.

Mr Neil Hobbs

Neil Hobbs is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) and a past National President of AILA, 2007-2009.  He is a member of the GAD Governing Council.  He is a principal of Harris Hobbs, a landscape architecture practice based in Canberra since 1991, and has a deep experience of landscape architecture in the Australian Capital Territory. The practice has won several national AILA awards for design and planning projects. He has had experience on both sides of significant design competitions, having acted as a juror for several competitions in Canberra, and has been successful in a number of international design competitions.

Ms Annabelle Pegrum AM

Annabelle Pegrum is the University Architect at the University of Canberra and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Design.  She is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects, a former President of the ACT Chapter of the Institute and she was an inaugural member of the GAD Governing Council. She is the former Chief Executive of the National Capital Authority, the Commonwealth agency responsible for the planning and development of Canberra as the National Capital. Ms Pegrum was the 1998 Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year and in 2001 received a Centenary Medal.

1.4  Competition Adviser

Annabelle Pegrum is the Competition Adviser.  She has extensive experience in the development and conduct of significant design competitions (Bio at Section 1.3).

Competition Adviser email:

1.5  Competition Jury

The jury of eminent Australians represents the design professions and reflects the cultural significance of the official residence for Australia’s Prime Minister.

Jury members:

The Jury will be chaired by Professor Lyndon Anderson, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra and Member of the Competition Advisory Panel.See biography at 1.3 above.

Dr Ron Radford AM

Ron Radford is the director of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and a former director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. He was Chair of the Australia Council’s Visual Arts/Craft Board from 1997 to 2002 and is the only Australian representative at the international meeting of art museums directors. In 2009, the French Government awarded him a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters and last year the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council presented him with a Laureate Medal, in recognition of a lifetime of service to Australian art. Dr Radford holds a Doctor of Letters from the University of Adelaide and has honorary doctorates from RMIT and the University of South Australia.

Mr Kerry Hill AO

Kerry Hill is a recipient of the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal in recognition of his significant achievements in the practice of architecture and is a multiple winner of the Institute's International Award. He is also the recipient of the 2010 Singapore President’s Design Award for the Designer of the Year. Mr Hill is an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the University of Western Australia and in 2008 was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Architecture by the University. He lectures and travels extensively, teaching in several leading schools of architecture. Mr Hill is an Australian national, and permanent resident of Singapore and holds professional registrations for Architectural Practice in Singapore and most Australian states.

Ms Kerstin Thompson

Kerstin Thompson is Principal of Kerstin Thompson Architects – a Melbourne based architecture, landscape and urban design practice with projects in Australia and New Zealand. She is also Professor of Design in Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington and Adjunct Professor at RMIT and Monash Universities. Her work for both public and private clients has received numerous awards and local and international recognition. She has been a member of the Federal Government’s Built Environment Industry Innovation Council Advisory Committee, was the Creative Director for the highly successful 2005 RAIA National Conference and one of the Creative Director’s for Australia’s 2008 Venice Biennale exhibition. The practice focus is on architecture as a civic endeavor with an emphasis on the users’ experience and enjoyment of place. 

Mr Howard Tanner

Howard Tanner, of Tanner Kibble Denton Architects, has extensive experience in contemporary and heritage architecture and has had a long involvement in the design and requirements of official residences. He is a former National President of the Australian Institute of Architects and chaired the 2009 Australian Architecture Awards. He has contributed to many architectural competitions, has published widely and is the recipient of multiple awards in architecture. As a Professorial Fellow at the University of Canberra he examined the options for a new Prime Minister’s Lodge in Canberra.  He is a member of the Commonwealth’s Australian Heritage Council, and the recipient of a RAIA Sisalation Scholarship to examine ‘Appropriate New Architecture for Established Cities’.

Ms Oi Choong

Oi Choong is director of Australian landscape architectural practice CONTEXT Landscape Design and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. She has worked on major public projects in Australia, Asia and the Middle East and is a recipient of numerous national and international landscape project awards. She is a Member of the Faculty of Built Environment, University of New South Wales Dean’s Advisory Council and has served as expert advisor and Design Excellence Panel member on a number of local and international projects. Ms Choong has been involved in numerous projects within the Parliamentary Triangle in Canberra including the restoration of the Old Parliament House Gardens.

Ms Louise Bell

Louise Bell is the director of Interni Pty Ltd, an acclaimed Sydney based studio of interior architects and designers with projects across Australia. She is a member of the Design Institute of Australia and is widely recognised for her architectural approach to design solutions often working collaboratively with architects on individual projects. Interni focuses on high quality residential, retail and commercial interior design and is the recipient of numerous interior design awards. Ms Bell has also worked in London and Paris on a diverse range of projects. She was a jury member for the Australian Interior Design Awards and for various design competitions.

Mr Neil Hobbs

Neil Hobbs is a member of the GAD Governing Council, and former President of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects and member of the competition Advisory Panel. See biography at 1.3 above.

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The first image in the slideshow at the top of this page is of Prime Minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce and his wife Ethel at The Lodge, Canberra, February 1928. Photo courtesy National Archives of Australia: Mildenhall collection, A1200, L83837.