Kambri at ANU
Australian Capital Territory | Urban
“ANU will sit among the great universities of the world, defined by a culture of excellence in all its endeavours.”
The campus has a striking landscape setting and is home to a collection of significant buildings and spaces. However, the lack of coherent planning over decades has resulted in a campus environment that is often experienced as dispersed and disconnected and not consistent with the University’s future vision.
The ANU Acton Campus Master Plan (2019) sets out a blueprint to boldly and holistically restructure the public spaces and activities of Acton Campus, building on existing strengths to create a more vibrant and coherent campus environment.
The ANU Acton Campus Master Plan (Master Plan) provides a transformative new structure of spaces and activities for the Acton campus, achieving strategic renewal around a network of new hubs linked by tree-lined landscaped promenades. The Master Plan responds to the University’s vision and the unique place attributes of the campus and its setting.
Reflecting a need for holistic renewal, the campus Master Plan has identified three transformational objectives:
To achieve these objectives, the following seven design principles have been developed that structure the Master Plan.
The strategy of hubs and promenades was developed as a geometric scheme relating to Griffin’s layout for Civic (Canberra’s Central Business District), which provided a powerful ordering structure for the Master Plan. The amplification of Canberra's most celebrated parts provides an intuitive and accessible layout for all stakeholders to experience.
The team used a range of engagement tools and techniques to develop the Master Plan; the most effective tool being presence, enabling the team to develop a deep understanding of the University’s issues. Eighteen months of continuous and iterative internal and external stakeholder engagement comprised:
Consistent themes emerged as priorities from the stakeholder engagement, and aligned with ideas articulated in the ANU Strategic Plan, confirming the connection between the Strategic Plan and the ambitions of the ANU. Initial ‘big ideas’, focused on the ordering of public spaces and the configuration of new shared uses to bring clarity and order to those spaces. Design work then progressed to shape campus experiences and places in line with the University’s future ambitions.
The Master Plan includes an Implementation Plan and Design Guide formulated in collaboration with the University’s Department of Facilities Management (DFM) and University leadership. The Implementation Plan reflects the key priorities for strategic renewal attuned to the University’s capacity to deliver, including:
The Design Guide will become part of every project briefing to architects and landscape architects, enhanced by the fact that DFM staff contributed to its formulation. The governance framework for the Master Plan and associated documents will ensure that immediate and long-term projects undertaken comply with, and remain in line with, the Implementation Plan.
At the launch of the Master Plan, Professor Gareth Evans, Chancellor said:
“Its implementation will fundamentally transform the look and feel of the campus, taking much more advantage of the magnificent natural bushland setting, better recognising our Indigenous heritage, more successfully integrating architecture and landscape than we have in the past, making the campus much more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, and building around it more centres of communal vitality, like Kambri.”