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«West Portal Cafeteria, Parkes, ACT West Portal Cafeteria Source: Department of the Environment, 2002 Finance ID DFD-61007 Number Commonwealth ...»

West Portal Cafeteria, Parkes, ACT

West Portal Cafeteria

Source: Department of the Environment, 2002

Finance ID DFD-61007


Commonwealth Nominated: 105554

Heritage List

Parliament House Vista Extension - 105474

(CHL) Place ID


Current Status The West Portal Cafeteria (CHL ID: 105554) has been nominated to the

(including CHL Commonwealth Heritage List. The nomination has been referred to the

Place ID Number) Australian Heritage Council for assessment.

The West Portal Cafeteria is included on the Commonwealth Heritage List as part of the Parliament House Vista Extension (CHL ID: 105474).

Ownership West portal Cafeteria is managed by the Department of Finance on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Location The West Portal Cafeteria is an isolated free standing buildings located adjacent to the north side of Lake Burley Griffin, flanking ANZAC Parade between Constitution Avenue and Parkes Way, Parkes and is included in the Parliamentary Zone, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

Record last updated 15 January 2015 | 1 The West Portal Cafeteria is located on Constitution Avenue, Parkes, on Block 7, Section 3 of Parkes, which includes the Anzac Park West Building.

Source: Google maps Description The West Portal Cafeteria was designed to create an environment quite different from the adjoining offices. It was to provide not only food services but also a relaxing environment with an outlook southwest across Parkes Way to Commonwealth Park and the lake beyond. A dense landscape was designed to enclose and separate the southeastern and northwestern exterior spaces from their surrounds. This was in contrast to adjacent monumentality of the Anzac Park West Building.

The West Portal Cafeteria is a low single level rectangular building of approximately 18.5 x 29.5 metres (internal) oriented north south and raised above the surrounding open ground by an average of 1.2 metres. The building is enclosed by exposed brick on three sides of the northern end and by full height glazing and a wide verandah to the three sides of the southern end. The building has a very low-pitched, hipped main roof with concave cantilevered, copper tile clad roof sections extending out approximately three metres around all four

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The undersides of the roof and the perimeter of the former dining room ceiling are battened with Western Red Cedar with mitred junctions to each corner. The verandah section is gently angled upwards and curves even further upwards at the ends to meet the roof fascia and copper gutter. The former dining room ceiling is coffered in the centre section in a structural grid. The very central 3.6.x

3.6 metres coffer continues up to be a central lantern and clerestory with the lantern ceiling also being timber clad to match the perimeter of the former dining room. The dining room suspended concrete floor was originally covered with ‘finger’ parquetry blocks and the rear or northern internal wall is clad with Queensland Maple battens laid vertically.

External steps of exposed aggregate concrete lead up to the verandahs and directly lead onto the east and west entrances to the former dining room through glazed internalised airlocks. The original entrance airlock to the east appears to have been replaced by larger airlock at some point and now includes pressure activated rubber floor mats. Battered stonewalls and planter boxes are located to the east, west and south sides of the southern end of the building and outside the former dining room.

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Internally all the former kitchen and toilet fittings have been removed due to fire damage. The building plan consists of a square (former) dining room open section and a closed rear services section.

The building has brown Bowral face brick walls enclosing the service areas to the northeast, and these walls extend some distance along the northwest and southeast sides.

The rest of the building, indeed most of the building, has glazed exterior walls.

These glazed walls have a concrete up-stand with pebble-crete type of finish.

The windows extend to the underside of the eaves and between the structural steel posts. The window frames are made of bronze coloured anodised aluminium, and have sliding glass lower panels, and fixed glass panels above.

The sliding windows have flyscreens and some are deteriorated or missing.

There are pairs of glazed doors on the southeast and northwest sides. These are also anodised aluminium with a centre rail panel of timber. The timber ply panel was stained but has been painted and is deteriorated. The doors on the northwest side are side hung.

The section of face brick wall on the northwest side has a series of anodised aluminium windows with top hung sashes.

The northeast side of the building is the location for services and the service entry. This includes a brickwork and concrete loading dock and stairs, with edges reinforced by checker-plate.

The cafeteria displays a number of distinctive architectural features including:

 its square in ‘golden rectangle’ pavilion form with encircling terrace and broad over hanging eaves as an extension of the internal ceiling finish  horizontal character of the floor, ceiling and roof  solid battered stone base and broad floating roof form sandwiching a continuous ‘ribbon’ glass wall  elegant roof form including the use of curves and angled elements, with a lantern/spire adding a contrasting vertical element  the dining room with its encircling windows, use of timberwork, central coffered ceiling and skylight  use of quality materials including stone, timber and copper.

Part of the creative achievement of the Cafeteria design is reflected in the setting of the building, the way it was intended to be viewed in the landscape and the way the landscape was to be viewed/experience from the building.

The elevated single level setting of the cafeteria is not part of the portal concept embodied in the Anzac Park East and West buildings; rather it provides a

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Landscape Setting The West Portal Cafeteria is located adjacent to Anzac Park West, which together with Anzac Park East are known as the ‘Portal Buildings’. For more information on the Parliament House Vista Extension - Portal Buildings, Anzac Parade please refer to the Heritage Register entry.

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From at least the 1950s, the Australian Government provided cafeterias or canteens for use by public servants. These were associated with government offices or other facilities, and were different from the Army, Navy and Air Force messes, which have a much longer history. The Department of Labour, in its various forms, was the lead agency (Interdepartmental Committee on Food Services, 1970).

The Department of Supply advised a cafeteria was needed because its officers ‘will be unable to return to their homes for lunch’ because of the distance to travel (Woodhead, 2012). The cafeteria to seat 350 people was proposed to serve the occupants of the Anzac Park East and West Buildings. Over the life of the design process the designed seating capacity was reduced to 240 people.

The West Portal cafeteria was planned and implemented by the National Capital Development Commission, under the control of its Director of Architecture, Mr Gareth Roberts, who commissioned private architectural firms to finalise the design and document the buildings for construction. In September 1966, O’Mahony, Neville & Morgan were commissioned for the project, and the architects engaged Julius, Poole & Gibson to provide mechanical, electrical and structural engineering design services. Following a public tender in May 1968, SDC Kennedy & Bird Pty Ltd were selected as the builder in June. The building was constructed in 1968-69 with practical completion on 5 May 1969 for a final cost of $192,386. The West Portal Cafeteria was opened on 19 May 1969.

The inclusion of the sculpture Meeting Place by Stephen Walker as a centrepiece in the dining area is suggestive of the building’s perceived important social function. The sculpture was apparently installed in early 1970 and removed later

- its current location is unknown.

In 1977, the Government decided to transfer operational responsibility of the cafeterias and canteens from the various departments and agencies to Commonwealth Hostels Ltd, a company fully owned by the Australian Government. In 1978, the company changed its name to Commonwealth Accommodation and Catering Services Ltd, and in 1988, it was sold into private enterprise and became Advanced Food Services.

The West Portal Cafeteria operated until the 1990s when it was leased to a private contractor. In 2000, the cafeteria building was leased to the National Capital Authority for use as a temporary display facility. In about 2001 to 2004, the cafeteria was leased to Alan Honey for catering and function use, and the business was called The Spire Events Centre. The cafeteria is currently vacant.

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Criterion A - I There are no official values as the West Portal Cafeteria is a nominated place.

Non-Statutory Listings Register of the National Estate: Place ID 102813. Registered (26/10/1999).

Register of the National Estate Additional information Property Access West Portal Cafeteria is not currently open to the public.

Department of Finance consulted with the key stakeholders, including people Consultation with a particular interest in, or associations with the place; and those that may be affected by the management of the place.

–  –  –

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