Griffins’ Historic Black Mountain Vista Threatened By New Federal Rules

Griffin, Walter Burley & Mullett, A. J & Australia. Department of Home and Territories. Lands and Surveys Branch. (1918). Canberra, plan of city and environs Retrieved May 24, 2019, from Click to enlarge

National Capital Plan amendment 91 (see includes new building height rules and a suite of other planning controls that make up the City and Gateway framework.

The effect of those new rules at one major intersection will be critical to the integrity of the Griffin Plan.

The Northbourne-Macarthur-Wakefield intersection is criss-crossed by two important Griffin axes, which run diagonally across the valley and link the city plan to the dominant landscape forms.

The major axis and vista affected runs along Majura Ave-David St. This vista along Majura Avenue provides a direct visual connection between the summits of Mt Majura and Black Mountain, and was expressly designed to do this from the beginning.

The visual impact of redeveloping the ABC and Mantra sites to RL617 has been projected by Canberra planning specialist Jane Goffman using comparative photos of towers of the same height at the same object distance, simple trigonometry and topographical mapping of relative contour levels and distances.

The viewing point (origin) was located on Majura Avenue outside Block 2 Section 41 Ainslie, northeast of the Cowper St intersection, approximately 950 metres from the existing Mantra building. The base photo was taken on 10 April at 6:36AM using a Nikon D90, with a 105mm focal length.

Unless the new federal Parliament in its first six sitting days disallows the relevant building height, and lowers that to respect and maintain the Griffins’ Black Mountain vista along Majura Ave, the amended National Capital Plan will be cemented by law and the Territory Plan must be varied to conform.

Comparative photo taken 27 May 2019 – click to enlarge

Base photo taken 10 April 2019 – click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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