2016 National Architecture Awards: Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design

Bowen Place Crossing by Lahznimmo Architects Urban Design: Walter Burley Griffin Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Bowen Place Crossing is a refined and confident piece of urban design, with a graceful pedestrian and cycling path inserted along a popular route at Lake Burley Griffin. This generous pathway carves an elegant arc as the user descends from Kings Avenue towards the lake, replacing a busy and hazardous crossing. The result transforms what could have been a traditional underpass into an immersive and pleasurable experience. Cutting the curve into the slope, precast concrete segments line the outer wall and form a sweeping path. The wall rises as you approach the road above, which has been split in either direction, allow ample light underneath. The effect is uplifting. Rather than the claustrophobic underpass of memory, there is instead a feeling of lightness and increased security. With Corten steel lining the inner wall and subtle landscaping, the new path offers framed views as well as a new landscaped inner garden that gives a sense of continuity with the nearby National Gallery of Australia sculpture garden. This is an exceptional project, highly considered and an enduring contribution to Canberra’s public domain.

Read the project review by Roger Pegrum from Architecture Australia Mar/Apr 2016.


Lahznimmo Architects
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Annabel Lahz, Andrew Nimmo (principal architects); Hugo Cottier (project architect); Martin Tarnawski (design architect)
Building contractor Woden Contractors
Electrical and lighting consultant Lighting Art and Science
Landscape architect Spackman Mossop Michaels
Structural and civil engineer Taylor Thomson Whitting
Site details
Location Canberra,  ACT,  Australia
Site type Urban
Category Landscape / urban design
Type Bridges
Project Details
Status Built
Client National Capital Authority
Website nationalcapital.gov.au



Published online: 3 Nov 2016
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2016
Images: Brett Boardman, Ian Marshall


Architecture Australia, November 2016

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