Australia’s capital, Canberra, a city described by writer Bill Bryson as, “living death” on account of its lifeless exterior, may well be a triumph of style over content, but its modern cityscape remains cutting edge. Travel journalist, Ian Cross, takes to the road for a series of short reports on people, places and events across the globe – The Grassroots Tour…
Architect and city planner, Walter Burley Griffin, a colleague and student of Frank Lloyd Wright, laid out the city less than 100 years ago. His symmetrical vision of straight lines, circles and curves is still in evidence today.
The futuristic Academy of Science building was built more than 50 years ago in the 1960s. Opposite is the brand new Hotel Hotel in the New Acton district which carries on this innovative tradition, having won many Australian architectural and design awards.
The National Gallery offers an impressive James Turell installation, in addition to showcasing Australia’s premier artworks and foreign prizes like Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles.
Canberra is home to Australia’s national Parliament, a building built into the hillside of the appropriately named Capitol Hill.
A very popular attraction here is the Australian War Memorial. One of the oldest national institutions in the capital, its Hall of Remembrance, houses the tomb of the unknown soldier. Outside the pool of reflection is centred by the eternal flame, surrounded by the Roll of Honour, walls containing the names of more than 100,000 Australians killed in world wars. Red poppies adorn the walls in a moving tribute to the fallen.
Across town in the New Acton district, Canberra rushes into the future. This is a new city looking forward, true to the futuristic vision of the architect who developed it less than 100 years ago.
Presenter/voice/producer: Ian Cross
Photography: Robin Constable
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