The Kingston Arts Precinct will be a distinct and special destination. Our intention is to establish the vision for the precinct in engagement with the artists, the community and our design team.

The Team

Geocon has curated a project team to ensure a best practice approach to architecture and precinct planning, urban and landscape design, stakeholder engagement and project delivery, working with the Suburban Land Agency and ArtsACT.

ACT Government

The Suburban Land Agency is a statutory authority that is responsible for delivering the ACT Government’s suburban development program, including urban renewal in established town centres and suburbs. The Agency aims to create great places by promoting inclusive and thriving communities within people-focussed neighbourhoods. Dedicated to achieving new standards of innovation, excellence and value in urban design and sustainable development, the Suburban Land Agency principal client is the ACT community, who it actively seeks to engage with in all facets of its land development activities.


Geocon is Canberra’s first fully integrated property enterprise with capabilities across development, construction, hospitality management, investment, sales and conveyancing. Geocon’s hallmark is architecturally-stunning buildings that deliver a new standard of contemporary living. As a local Canberra business, Geocon capitalises on unrivalled market knowledge to strategically acquire and build precinct-style developments that are changing the Canberra skyline.

Fender Katsalidis—Architecture and Masterplanning

Founded on the philosophy of innovation through collaboration, Fender Katsalidis has evolved from a Melbourne-centric architectural practice, to a highly awarded, multi-disciplinary international design firm whose work now influences built environment thinking across the globe. As specialists in multi-residential, cultural, commercial, aged care and hotel typologies, they seek and deliver holistic solutions in architecture, master planning, urban design and interiors—solutions notable not only for their design quality, but also their civic contribution and economic mindfulness.

Oculus—Landscape Architecture

Oculus’s work is founded on the belief that people and their interactions form the core of great public space. They focus is on the everyday routine of daily life rather than on spectacle, style, and event and work to create designs that connect people to one another and to the larger environment—a dialogue between the individual and the collective that is physical, sensorial, phenomenal, and at times indescribable. Their work is an amalgamation of urban design, landscape architecture, and architecture and they believe that the design of public space is most powerful when the skills and expertise of all disciplines are encouraged to mix freely and openly; when boundaries are blurred and potentials explored. Photograph by Simon London.—Community Engagement is a boutique practice specialising in architecture and urban strategy. The team brings together a diverse skill set including architecture, strategic planning, placemaking and policy, and stakeholder engagement. Locally based—the practice has consulted with the Canberra community on a range of projects including for precinct master planning, public spaces and mixed use buildings. The team’s diverse experience informs their approach to strategic thinking and working collaboratively to achieve places that welcome people, engage the imagination and inspire better urban living. Photograph by Brett Boardman.

Purdon Planning—Town Planning

Purdon Planning is an urban planning consultancy providing a wide range of urban and regional planning services to government and private sector clients across Australia and overseas. They are a diverse team of qualified professionals with extensive experience in the industry enabling them to provide pragmatic advice and effective solutions for their clients. Their services, skill base and experience cover a wide range of planning disciplines including: strategic planning, statutory planning, site selection and evaluation, community consultation, master planning, government liaison, community facility planning and environmental assessment.


The ACT Government’s arts agency, artsACT promotes a diverse and dynamic arts ecology which is valued locally, nationally and globally. artsACT delivers policy, funding and infrastructure to support participation in and access to the arts, great art and artists, the vitality of the Canberra Region arts ecology, and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures.

artsACT provides funding through several categories providing opportunities for individual artists, arts organisations and community groups. Artists and arts organisations are also supported through management of several facilities that are wholly dedicated to arts activity.

artsACT is proud to support high quality work from artists and arts organisations in the Canberra region across a broad range of artforms and practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are vistas to Mount Pleasant to be retained?

Yes. The master plan design includes a 10 metre corridor from the Glassworks building to Jack Ross Park to maintain the view through to Mount Pleasant and Lake Burley Griffin.

How many apartments will be in the precinct?

The number of apartments and dwelling mix hasn’t yet been finalised but may be around 250-300 new apartments, with a mix of layouts and sizes.

What will be the mix of uses in the precinct?

The new precinct will include a mix of residential and commercial uses, as well as a 5-star hotel, and of course, accommodation for the arts organisations, gallery spaces and offices for artsACT. The ground level will be active – including retail and commercial, with residential and offices above – to make sure that the precinct is successful for business and the community as well as a great place to live.

What will be the height of the development and in what areas?

Building heights will vary from 2 to 6 storeys, similar to existing heights in the Kingston Foreshore. All buildings will comply with the Territory Plan height limits.

Where will the front of the hotel be?

The entry to the hotel is planned to be opposite the public events space in the centre of the precinct.

What is the interface going to be between the new buildings and existing apartment buildings?

The design of the buildings within the precinct has not yet been finalised, but the new buildings facing Eastlake Parade are intended to be residential with commercial at the ground floor in some locations. All new buildings will be designed to minimise any negative impact on existing apartment amenity.

How many new shops / cafes will be provided?

The number of commercial and retail spaces hasn’t yet been finalised, but there is likely to be a 50 / 50 mix of residential and commercial (including the hotel, cafés/restaurants, shops, offices etc).

What will the new buildings look like?

The detailed design for the buildings hasn’t been finalised, but Geocon has engaged an award-winning design team including architects Fender Katsalidis and landscape architects Oculus to ensure the highest quality in architectural design and public realm.

Will Fender Katsalidis be engaged through the whole process?

Yes, they will be engaged through design and construction.

What is happening to the substation?

At this stage, the substation is to be retained.

Will the arts hub areas be in one building?

No, the master plan includes a number of arts spaces across multiple buildings linking around the public canvas and heritage buildings. The design will allow for each building to have its own entry but also to be linked at higher levels to provide connection for the arts hub spaces.

What arts organisations are going to be in the new arts hub?

The arts hub will include the Glassworks, CraftACT, ArtSound, Canberra Contemporary Artspace, M16, Megalo Access Arts, and PhotoAcess. There will also be an Indigenous gallery and office space for artsACT

Who is managing the arts hub buildings? (what is being handed back to the Government)?

ArtsACT will be managing the arts hub and the ACT government will be responsible for all the public spaces in the precinct, including the multi-storey carpark.

How many car parking spaces will be provided?

Over 1,200 carparks will be provided in the precinct including 516 spaces in a multi-storey carpark. The remainder will be for the other uses in the precinct. Around 700 spaces will be available for public use on the weekends. (Currently only around 300 car park spaces are available on the surface carpark).

Why is there aboveground parking proposed instead of basement parking?

A mixture of above ground and basement carparking has been provided through the precinct. To achieve the same number of parks only through basement would require significant excavation and some uncertainty. However, the design team is considering a number of options for parking as part of the detailed master planning.

What is going to happen to traffic in the new precinct?

Geocon has engaged AECOM traffic and parking engineers to undertake analysis of existing and future parking and traffic conditions under a variety of scenarios for the precinct.

Will new cycleways be provided?

The project team has met with representatives from Pedal Power and will incorporate a variety of options for cycling as part of the detailed parking and traffic modelling for the development application.

What will happen to existing parking on the site?

The existing surface car parking on the site will no longer be available once the precinct is complete. However, around 1,200 new parking spaces will be provided, either in basements or a structured car park.

Where will parking be available during construction?

Construction will be staged to minimise disruption to existing residents and businesses on the Foreshore. During construction, temporary parking will be provided on the proposed hotel site (during stage 1) at the south west edge of the precinct. Parking may also be provided near the sub-station, and Geocon is also exploring temporary parking options on the Territory-owned land around the Kingston rail yards.

What public transport links will there be to the new precinct?

An existing bus route provides connection to the Kingston Foreshore area with stops on Wentworth Avenue. Future routes will be decided by Transport Canberra.

Will there be access to the precinct off Wentworth Avenue

Yes, there will be direct access to the precinct from Wentworth Avenue.

Will there be access to the precinct off Eastlake Parade?

Yes, however, the design will minimise the number of cars using the full length of Eastlake Parade to access the precinct. There will be direct access to the precinct from Wentworth Avenue. Exact access points will be determined after detailed traffic modelling.

Will there be changes to Eastlake Parade as part of the project?

Eastlake Parade does not form part of the precinct development. However, traffic modelling for the precinct will take into account vehicle numbers on the Parade. All feedback provided by the community regarding existing and future conditions of Eastlake Parade will be passed on to the ACT government.

What trees will be removed? What trees will be retained?

All registered and heritage trees will be retained. However, the current master plan does involve the removal of a number of trees along Wentworth Avenue and the existing surface car park. A significant number of new mature plantings will be incorporated into the landscape master plan, more than offsetting the number of trees that are being removed.

What green space will be provided, and where will it be?

The detailed landscape master plan has not yet been finalised. However, the tender proposal anticipates a large public canvas and public realm incorporating a mix of soft and hard landscaping.

Why is the outdoor space where it is and what will it look like?

The public realm for the precinct has been designed to provide a restful green space adjacent to the Fitters Workshop and the Old Bus Depot building which has the capacity to also accommodate events, festivals and outdoor markets. The planning aims to celebrate the history of the site and create a strong relationship to the heritage buildings at the centre of the precinct. Placing the event space at the centre of the new precinct will also protect existing residents from any noise generated in this new area as it will be surrounded by new development and the existing heritage buildings.

The design is also a response to the topography of the site and aims to maximise views from residential apartments to open space. It has also been located to create a clear and legible street and pedestrian network and manage the infrastructure constraints and planning controls for the site.

What amenities are going to be provided in the open space?

The amenity in the public realm will be determined as part of the detailed design. The design team is taking into account the input of ArtsACT, the resident arts organisations and public consultation to create a space that can cater to the range of anticipated uses.

Who will be managing events in the public realm?

The ACT government will be responsible for all the public spaces in the precinct.

Are the Old Bus Depot Markets going to be retained?


Will the Old Bus Depot Markets be changing as well?

The Old Bus Depot Markets are outside of the precinct master plan area and will continue to be managed by the ACT Government and the licensee. No changes to the market building is proposed as part of the development of the precinct. However, the market operation is being taken into account by the design team as a key element of the new Kingston Arts Precinct.

How will the Old Bus Depot Markets building relate to the new open-space? Where will the parking be?

No changes to the Old Bus Depot Markets building are proposed as part of the master plan for the new precinct. However, the ACT Government has in the past looked at the potential to open the building to the north, which would provide direct access to the new public canvas. Any future decisions about changes to the building will be made by the ACT Government.

What is the distance between the heritage buildings and the new buildings?

The successful tender design proposal included a setback from the Glassworks of 13 metres to the northwest, 5 metres to the southwest and 15 metres to the northeast. The arts hub will be set back 9 metres from northeast edge of the Fitters Workshop.

Are the heritage buildings being kept? What about the chapel?

Yes – all the heritage buildings in the precinct will be retained.

What is the timeframe for the development?

Approximately 6 to 12 months for design development and preparation of the development application

Then 6 to 12 months for approval of the Estate Development Plan and design and siting for the new buildings in the precinct.

Construction is not anticipated to commence before 2022.

When will construction commence?

Construction could begin in mid-2021 but will depend on the planning, design and engagement activities referenced above.

How long will construction take?

A construction period of around 18-20 months is anticipated for each of the two stages.

Will the arts precinct be built first?

The arts hub and parking structure for the precinct will be delivered in the first stage of construction.

When will the Kingston Arts Precinct open?

Construction of stage one is anticipated to be complete in 2023.

What will the advertising campaign for the new precinct be like?

The advertising campaign will be consistent with the ACT Government’s marketing and advertising guidelines for the Kingston Arts Precinct, which can be viewed here.

How are you engaging with the community?

Geocon is engaging with the Canberra community and key stakeholders throughout the design development for the Estate Development Plan and building design, leading up to the development application. A number of engagement events have already been held, and future events are planned over the coming months. To be kept up to date on the engagement for the Kingston Arts Precinct, please register for the KAP mailing list here.

Is it possible to access background documents on the tender?

Yes – background documents are available on the Suburban Land Agency website - click here.