Canberra’s New Acton: green spaces in the city..

The Palace Theatre, in New Acton is our favourite place to go the movies in Canberra..

New Acton is a precinct in the city that has apartment blocks, a hotel, restaurants, bars, cafe, a cinema and an art gallery all fitted around the historic former Hotel Acton.

The movie theatre is in the Nishi building,  which won the International Project of the Year in 2015 Building Awards.

The building is multi-purpose with apartments, offices and a hotel and restaurants. The apartments have an energy rating  of 8 stars with the use of solar power..

In between these old and new buildings are a range of gardens, designed by landscape architects Oculus.

A dwarf Eucalyptus leucoxylon, (possibly)  soft grey westringia, and New Zealand flax.
Westringia and the weeping wattles (Acacia cognata) and a Japanese Maple.

On a quiet autumn morning this soft green garden is a best kept secret.  Nearby office workers come for coffee, others come for tea and cake, a pizza for lunch or just a snack before the movies.

Car free zones are always welcome in the city. These spaces are sometimes used for social events and markets..

Apartments are looking over community gardens  and  sculptures..

Saltimanque by Tim Kyle

A very cute little bookshop beneath a rather scary sculpture..

and back to the Nishi building where we go to the movies…this is the striking hotel entrance and staircase.

the window looks out onto the gardens…both the stairs and the window are favourite subjects for Instagrammers from Canberra.

and as we leave the movies we pass two street paintings done by the nearby University students ..

When in Canberra you are never very far away from Cockatoos, and there are plenty of real ones in the nearby University grounds..

Landscape Australia article on New Acton says: ”We believe in the power of architecture to improve our lives.”

New Acton has the friendly charm and a village feel to it, and I think it is absolutely right that architecture can improve our lives… you?

I hope you are enjoying your home town where ever you are in the world, and that you have some green spaces around you.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey :All Rights Reserved.



















19 Replies to “Canberra’s New Acton: green spaces in the city..”

  1. This looks such a lovely area in the city centre! Open spaces, trees, green and flowering plants and yes, well-designed buildings and use of statuary can certainly give us a sense of well-being.
    I like that bookshop!

    1. Thanks Clare, it is a lovely cosy bookshop, but I could do without that big bird looking down from above!

  2. I was in Canberra recently and I wish now that I had known about this so I could have gone to see it. And do I see the beginnings of a green wall? I think architecture can improve our lives, but often doesn’t, sadly. I think of some of the apartment buildings in our cities and feel they have very little benefit.

    1. I absolutely agree about apartment buildings, I wrote this post wishing that the rest of Canberra was a bit more like New Acton…most of recently built apartments are dreadful!

  3. What an exciting and innovative corner of your city. Great for you that it is convenient to visit. And yes, I think architecture, including landscaping, can make a big difference to the quality of life.

    1. I agree landscaping can make a difference to quality of life, and I hope we don’t lose that concept in Canberra.

  4. That certainly is different! What a wonderful place to go the the movies. I loved the building and that edgy sculpture and staircase. The gardens are lovely too, a wonderful place to relax before or after a film. I like how green it all is too, definitely the way to

  5. This is truly impressive. It gave me goosebumps. Applause to the powers that be who had the foresight to add green spaces, living and working spaces together. Love the vertical gardening and the mural too. 🙂 Our town dates back to 1623. We have a couple of large mill spaces that have been turned into lofts and commercial space. And, they are also developing some green space not too far from there. We also have a lot of apartments being built that almost sit right on the roadway and they are not planning for the parking issues that will follow. I like your plan better. 🙂

    1. We have many apartments just like the ones you describe… no sensible planning… I can’t imagine living in a town dating back to 1623..amazing..

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