Preferred urban design team selected

Posted by epadmin on Wed, 03/18/2015 - 1:36am

As a result of an international tender process CIVITAS from Canada, in partnership with Oculus from Sydney, have now been selected as the preferred urban design team.   


CIVITAS Urban Design & Planning Inc. is a Vancouver based, internationally recognized, multi-disciplinary consulting practice specializing in major land planning, urban design and town planning projects in many countries. They are committed to the design and development of ecologically-sensitive communities and to city shaping and place making. They are proponents of designing communities based on the principles of “Green Urbanism”, which emphasizes the integration of compact development with on-site natural open space as a means of preserving diminishing natural resources and changing the living experience.

Read more about CIVITAS >>


Oculus is founded on the belief that people and their interactions form the core of great public space. Their focus is on the everyday routine of daily life rather than on spectacle, style, and event. They work to create designs that connect people to one another and to the larger environment—a dialogue between the individual and the collective that is physical, sensorial, phenomenal, and at times indescribable.

Read more about Oculus >>


Campus is beautiful and green. Union Court is a wide open space. There is no central ANU focus registered in this space. I believe the ANU shop could be positioned somewhere more central in the design. To me, it is like an afterthought on the outskirts of campus. I would visit it more. Everything we do is ón line'. The shop could give a more personal appearance to the great job IT does. The staff in the shop are lovely and friendly, think we could use them more somehow.
Just wonder why there aren't more eating places that can open onto the space. Perhaps some creative paving with some genuine mythology mosaic might complement the natural setting that ANU ... and Canberra have to offer? Perhaps more variety in the depth so that there could be a few more natural seats there.

What about incorporating some ANU history somewhere? This is the first space you come to when you visit the site ... if only to look for help.
Thanks for the chance to is such a beautiful place.

The great blot on the aesthetics of Union Court is the temporary-looking conglomeration that obscures the Library. The Library is a fine building, and should be fully visible - and is it not emblematic of what a university should be? Reworking the other buildings around the Court to give it some architectural integrity - a sense of wholeness rather than random fractionation - seems also essential. Within that scheme could be more greenery, and more people-friendly facilities such as coffee lounges, restaurants, etc.

Can we redesign the ANU website to be as visually exciting and user-friendly as this one?

Union Court should be a central, open and inviting place for all sectors of the Campus community to meet, protest, celebrate.... The present layout offers this but it could be aided by greater seating, shade and weather protection. Like most of the buildings at this end of the campus, Union Court is showing its age. I hope that in redesigning it the openness and usability will not disappear into yet more multistory concrete and glass.

Getting the ANU Art school involved is a great idea - Gallery, live art, art auctions? They produce amazing art work and to get that out and into the public eye would benefit the school greatly! It might even get some funding finally. *Fingers crossed*

I agree the ANU shop should be more central and some cafes which have more healthy options and wider food choices for staff and students. There needs to be more of a community feel with shops and cafes interspersed in the leafy environment in a central square with artwork and sculptures around. The buildings need to be classic so they don't date too badly.

Please please add some kinda of rain/sun protection on the path from chiefly library to the law department. And a better way for bikes to get around the elevated part of union court.

There is much that could be done to provide Union Court with more amenity and better support the majority / 'average' ANU user:

Cycling: University Ave is one of ~ three primary cycle entry points to ANU and the area currently does not adequately support the large amount of cycle traffic that traverses Union Court. A raised cycle 'through-way' could be part of the refurbishment incorporating shading / seating / bike parking/ ... underneath. It would also increase the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians in this area, and allow faster transit for through traffic.

Landscaping: Trees, grass, water, and open space are key aspects of the character of ANU, and it would be shameful if this character were lost in any upgrade.

Retail / other outlets: The current cost of Union Court food may reflect the rent paid for the outlet, but there is a real need for cost-effective, healthy food and drink alternatives to what is there now (although the Subway outlet does partly address these issues). With ongoing rises in the cost of living, students more and more want and need cost effective options for meeting basic needs during their time at ANU;
- Food (e.g. bring the ANU Food Co-op into the area, offering low-cost healthy snacks/meals as an additional service)
- Clothing (e.g. incorporate a second hand / clothing exchange store with a focus on young people?)
- Market space (.e.g. a central market place space for exchanging/selling student used goods)
- Careers information / guidance / clearing house / market-space for temporary work

Great suggestion to bring the Food Co-op into Union Court :)

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