NewActon East

Canberra, Australia (Completed 2008)

NewActon East was the first to the NewActon1 party. It was the agent provocateur that challenged typical apartment arrangements within mixed-use buildings and precincts, and in truth the first mixed-use building in Canberra.

The eight-storey NewActon East was created in collaboration with Fender Katsalidis Architects and Oculus landscape architects. Within it are 32 apartments and four-floors of office space tenanted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as well as fine-grain tenancies including a ground floor grocery store, pilates studio and design agency.

We love NewActon East because it put our theoretical belief in the benefit of messy arrangements into practice. It also taught us that when working this way you sometimes lose a few teeth.

NewActon East has earned the support of our peers.2

We love pictures and story telling. With them we create visual essays of the landscape, our projects and curiosities.

NewActon East was the first to the NewActon1 party. It was the agent provocateur that challenged typical apartment arrangements within mixed-use buildings and precincts, and in truth the first mixed-use building in Canberra.

The eight-storey NewActon East was created in collaboration with Fender Katsalidis Architects and Oculus landscape architects. Within it are 32 apartments and four-floors of office space tenanted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as well as fine-grain tenancies including

a ground floor grocery store, pilates studio and design agency.

We love NewActon East because it put our theoretical belief in the benefit of messy arrangements into practice. It also taught us that when working this way you sometimes lose a few teeth.

NewActon East has earned the support of our peers.2

We love pictures and story telling. With them we create visual essays of the landscape, our projects and curiosities.

Project NameNewActon East
Project TypeMixed Use (office, residential, retail)
Design TeamFender Katsalidis, Oculus, Emery Studio and Molonglo Group
Size32 residential apartments, 7,198m2 of commercial space and 235 basement parking spaces
StatusCompleted 2008

NewActon is a precinct on the edge of Canberra’s city centre that Molonglo Group is progressively restoring. It is built on the heritage grounds of Acton House, a late 1920s temporary housing facility for newly arrived employees of the capital. NewActon does at a precinct scale what the Burley Griffins attempted to achieve for the city: vegetable gardens deliver produce to the precinct restaurants; nature and architecture collide; and the architectural envelope folds into flora and art. The high-rise apartments (high but not too high) also feed into this ground level generously.

Awards are tricky. Do they mean everything or nothing? Are they laurels to be rested on or simply gestures of encouragement that say ‘keep going’? Who knows. But there’s nothing worse than someone who won’t accept a compliment. So we smile and say thank you for this recognition and to all our co-conspirators who made these awards possible for our many Molonglo Group projects. See them listed here.