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"New Parliament Building" New Parliament House Tip by leffe3

New Parliament House, Canberra: 52 reviews and 115 photos

The third Parliament building of Australia (Melbourne 1901-27, 'Old Parliament' House, Canberra 1927-88) was designed by an American firm (Mitchell/Giurgola) with an Italian (Giurgola) lead architect. It was chosen from 329 entries from 28 countries following Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser's decision in 1978 to commission a new building.

Most of the building is buried under Capital Hill, but the front facade 'echoed deliberate designs of Old Parliament House' just down the hill towards Lake Burley Griffin.

Begun in 1981, it was originally intended to be completed by Australia Day (26 January) 1988, the 200th anniversary of European settlement. It just missed - Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the new building on 9 May (a dual anniversary of the first opening of Australia's parliament in Melbourne in 1901 and the first Canberra parliament in 1927).

With so much under ground, it's hard to realise the enormity of the building and the fact that from above it is designed in the shape of two boomerangs enclosed within a circle. There are 4,700 rooms, with both Senate (pink) and House of Representatives (green) surprisingly modest chambers.

It is designed in such a way that when looking from the shores of the lake, the new building appears to sit atop the Old Parliament, with the 81 metre flagpole embracing both buildings.

The building is open to the public every day except Christmas Day - free entry.

On Parliament 'sitting days' (Tuesday-Thursday) 8.30am - 5pm
All other days, 9am - 5pm

Address: Capital Hill
Phone: 02 6277 5399

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 3, 2009
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