Front: Queen Elizabeth II
Back: Parliament House and old Parliament House
Parliament House, known formerly as the Provisional Parliament House, was the house of the Parliament of Australia from 1927 to 1988. The building began operation on 9 May 1927 as a temporary base for the Commonwealth Parliament after its relocation from Melbourne to the new capital, Canberra, until a more permanent building could be constructed. In 1988, the Commonwealth Parliament transferred to the new Parliament House on Capital Hill. It also serves as a venue for temporary exhibitions, lectures and concerts.
On 2 May 2008 it was made an Executive Agency of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. On 9 May 2009, the Executive Agency was renamed the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, reporting to the Special Minister of State.
Designed by John Smith Murdoch and a team of assistants from the Department of Works and Railways, the building was intended to be neither temporary nor permanent—only to be a ‘provisional’ building that would serve as a parliament for fifty years. The design extended from the building to include its gardens, décor and furnishings. The building is in the Simplified or "Stripped" Classical Style, commonly used for Australian government buildings constructed in Canberra during the 1920s and 1930s. It does not include such classical architectural elements as columns, entablatures or pediments, but does have the orderliness and symmetry associated with neoclassical architecture. Read more
Old Parliament House as viewed from the front
Opening of Parliament House in May 1927
The front architecture built into Capital Hill, including the forecourt and main entrance, and illustrating a ground level view of the boomerang-shaped design
Parliament House is the meeting facility of the Parliament of Australia located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The building was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects and opened on 9 May 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. Costing more than A$1.1 billion, it was the most expensive building in the world at the time of its construction.
Federal Parliament meetings were first held in Melbourne until 1927. Between 1927 and 1988, the Parliament of Australia met in the Provisional Parliament House, which is now known as "Old Parliament House". Construction of Australia's permanent Parliament House was delayed while its location was debated. Construction of the new building began in 1981. The principal design of the structure is based on the shape of two boomerangs and is topped by an 81-metre flagpole.
It contains 4,700 rooms and many areas are open to the public. The main foyer contains a marble staircase and leads to the Great Hall which has a large tapestry on display. The House of Representatives chamber is decorated green while the Senate chamber has a red colour scheme. Between the two chambers is the Members' Hall which has a water feature and is not open to the public. The Ministerial Wing houses the office of the Prime Minister and other Ministers. Read more
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