The Building

The home of Australia's Parliament and the meeting place of the nation, Parliament House is located on a 32-hectare site on Capital Hill and is the focal point of Canberra, the capital city of Australia.

1988 - Parliament House opens

Opened on 9 May 1988 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the building was designed by Romaldo Giurgola of Mitchell/Giurgola and Thorp architects and was constructed almost entirely of Australian materials.

Wide view of the front of Parliament House The unique blend of impressive architecture, a stunning art collection and beautiful landscape makes Parliament House one of Australia's most significant and popular cultural attractions.

Visitors moving through the building experience a journey symbolic of Australia's history.

The Forecourt, with its featured mosaic dot painting, recognises the long history of Aboriginal culture in Australia.

Read more about the Forecourt mosaic.

 

 

 

 

Inside Parliament House

Marble Foyer of Parliament House The use of marble and timber in the main Foyer provides a link to the arrival of Europeans to Australia.
Great Hall tapestry

In the Great Hall, the rich Australian timbers, the Great Hall Tapestry and the Embroidery make subtle reference to the settlement and cultivation of the land.

Arthur Boyd, one of Australia’s greatest artists, was approached by Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp to conceive of a work of art for this key position on the south wall of the Great Hall.

Read more about the Great Hall Tapestry.

Members' Hall

The Members' Hall, designed as a lofty, ceremonial space at the heart of the building, is located directly under the flagmast.

It is the space in which the North-South axis of the building crosses with the East-West legislative axis that joins the Senate and House of Representatives Chambers.

Australian 5 dollar note - design bsaed on Parliament House

The design of  the back of Australia's $5 banknote features Parliament House. The images are the designer's interpretation of various architectural drawings and photographs.

The geometric patterns represent the entrance to the ministerial wing, the skylight in the Members' Hall and the skylight in the Main Committee Room.

To learn more visit the Reserve Bank of Australia's Banknotes website.

The building is recognised as a major international achievement in the integration of art and architecture, and features numerous commissioned artworks built into the very fabric of the building. Featured within the Great Verandah is the Coat of Arms created by sculptor Robin Blau, and at the bottom of the Foyer's marble stairs, the finials sculpted by Anne Ferguson.

Artworks from the Parliament House Art Collection, portraits from the Historic Memorials Collection and gifts to the Parliament can be seen throughout the public areas of the building.

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Colouring the House

This video was produced by the Department of the Senate and Broadcasting Content (Department of Parliamentary Services). It includes an interview with Peter Travis AMartist, designer, and teacher - who worked closely with Aldo Giurgola, the principal design architect of Mitchell Giurgola and Thorp when they designed and built Parliament House. In May 2013 Peter returned on the 25th anniversary of the building's opening, to talk about his work designing the colours for Parliament House.  Closed captions available.

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