Lonely Planet review for Parliament House
Opened in 1988, Parliament House was designed by Romaldo Giurgola of Mitchell, Giurgola & Thorp architects, winners of a design competition that attracted 329 entries from 28 countries. Its splendid interior incorporates different combinations of Australian timbers in each main section and more than 3000 original artworks.
The structure was built into the hillside and covered by grass to preserve the site's original landscape. Great swathes of neatly clipped lawn gently rise over the roof where a shiny metallic flagpole soars 81m to hoist a flag the size of a double-decker bus; a monumental, if unintentional, tribute to the Aussie backyard, the galvanised Hill's hoist and a beach towel.The main axis of Parliament House runs northeast-southwest in a direct line with Old Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and Mt Ainslie, Burley Griffin's original 'land axis'. Two high, granite-faced walls curve out from the axis to the corners of the building; the House of Representatives (east of the walls) and the Senate (to the west) are linked to the centre by covered walkways. Enter the building across the 90,000-piece forecourt mosaic by Michael Nelson Tjakamarra - the theme of which is 'a meeting place', representing possum and wallaby Dreaming - and through the white marble Great Verandah at the northeastern end of the main axis.
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