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The Federal Governments simultaneous rejection of the Hydro Electric Commission Building in Hobart and the Cameron Offices in the Canberra suburb of Belconnen for National Heritage Listing is frustrating in the extreme. The RAIA recently nominated these buildings for listing through the Department of the Environment and Heritage.
The rejection of the Cameron Offices is especially disappointing, given the development pressure on the building and its possible demolition. This strong, forthright office complex is one of the most significant of its time and is one of the truly important examples in Australia of late-twentieth-century structuralism. John Andrews began the design in 1968, with construction completed in 1976. The design played a pivotal role in altering the thinking of the planners of Canberra, leading them to favour this approach to office accommodation. Cameron Offices is exemplary for its integrity, its heroic presence and ideological foundations. It is much admired by the architectural community for these very reasons, but is misunderstood or little appreciated by the broader community.ARCHITECTURE AUSTRALIA 2005
The RAIA is aware of a fully developed scheme, designed in conjunction with the original architect, John Andrews, for adaptive re-use housing. Such a proposal preserves the integrity of the existing built form and proves the adaptability of the building and would result in an environmentally-efficient re-use of the existing structure.
The Cameron Offices, in their entirety, could be used and adapted without any destruction of the built form or any erosion of their significant place in Australian and International history