EXPLANATORY NOTES OF THE DESIGN FOR THE NEW FEDERAL CAPITAL CITY OF AUSTRALIA
Robert Lawrence Stables
Transcript in Australian Archives, Series CP 487/6/1, Item 1.The plan itself is not represented among the original drawings or the photographs in the collections of the Australian Archives or the National Library, nor has it or any of the drawings referred to in the description been located elsewhere.The design shown on No. 1 Drawing will accommodate about 150,000 people. It is larger than actually asked for, but is purposely done to show in which way the City may be expanded; and also to get the different prominent buildings in what is considered the best positions for the City in the future, It is also arranged 8 0 that the city is sheltered from the cold winds, blowing iron the hills to the west, and the factory district is placed on the north east of the city so that the prevailing winds from the west blow smoke and odours still further east and not across the city. The factories are also placed so, on account of facilities for train sidings, and which are diverted from their proposed position to what is considered a better position for the city as a whole. Also the design is arranged with the main avenues curved to suit the contour of the ground, as far as possible, and to do away. with severe straight lines which has a tendency to make each block and building so much alike, as well as having the object in view of being continuous one with another to facilitate travelling.
On either side of the main avenues the business and commercial houses are situated; this portion being the most suitable for business is reserved for that alone and is shown in Drawing I shaded,
The residential portion of the city is situated behind the commercial houses lining the main avenues and is divided up as follows:- S.W. district between avenues 12, 10 and 1; also between avenues 2 and 3; large house property is situated in the W. between avenues 3, 4 and 5; also between 4, 5, and 6; also between avenues 6, 7, 10; also between 7, 8 and 13, Large villas are located, and villas are allowed for between avenues 4, 8 and 13, also between 4, 8, 9 and 11, whilst smaller villas come between avenues 9 and 13; also between 14 and 13 avenues, also on the N. the river between avenues 4, 5 and 14. Workmen's dwellings are located between 5, 14 and 18 avenues; also between 18 and 7 and the railway; also between 7 and 14 avenues; also between 16 and 7, and the city boundary on the east side, These positions are chosen for convenience of workmen being near the Factories, In each of the spaces so formed behind the main avenues, open spaces have been allowed for Recreation Grounds, Parks and Tennis Courts, so that residents have at the most a very short distance to walk to get to an open space; they also make it beautiful for the residents and adorn the City as a whole,
Each public building mentioned has been allowed for in suitable positions and are tabulated below,
House of Parliament. Placed in front of Kurrajong Hill to give a pleasing background and being near the centre of the City with 6 main avenues leading to its makes it a dominating feature,
Residence Of Governor General, situated about 1 1/2 miles from the House of Parliament and standing in a very commanding position surrounded by large houses.
Residence of Prime Minister, about 1 mile from House of Parliament, standing on the corner of two main Avenues with a southern aspect makes it a bold and very pleasing residence.
The Department of Minister is within a few minutes walk from the Prime Minister's residence.
The Department of External Affairs is at the corner of 4 and 5 Avenues overlooking the river and being approached from a bridge gives it a prominent position.
The Attorney General's Department situated on corner of square S5 within a short distance of the House of Parliament.
Department of Home Affairs standing on No, 4 Avenue and facing the river.
The Department of Treasury stands on one corner of square S5.
The Department of Trades and Customs, also standing on one corner of square S5.
The Department of Defence also stands on one corner of square S5.
State House, in the centre of Square S5 and easily accessible from all points.
Postmaster General's Department, situated in Square S3, right opposite the General Post Office.
Courts of Justice is on the 8 Avenue to the north Central Park,
Mint, situated on edge of the Factory district and is accessible to trains &c.
National Art Gallery situated in square Sl at the opposite end of park to Governor General's residence,
Printing Office on the east side of the City and in the factory district.
Government Factories, between 8 and 15 Avenues in the factory district is accessible to trains &c. If heavy ordinance is to be manufactured a site further north would be more appropriate so that large open ground could be available for testing purposes.
University, situated to the west of the City and surrounded by playing fields,
Technical Colleges are placed in various parts of the City, one being on the corner of 9 and 13 Avenues; on the corner of 4 and 5 avenues 5 also on No. 4 Avenue in the centre and No, 13 Avenue in the south east,
City Hall, situated in square S3, and is in a very commanding position.
General Post Office, situated on Square S3 opposite the Postmaster General's Department.
Museum, situated on No, 4 Avenue to the west and between 5 and 7 Avenues, is admirably situated and room being round it for extension.
Central Railway Station, the position which is to the North of the City is chosen because of the admirable position of the railway lines as regards marshalling yards, goods yards &c. and is accessible from all points.
Railway Marshalling Yards, close to Railway Station and Joining large goods yards.
Military Barracks to the north west of the City with plenty of ground in front for parading and Manoeuvers. A military academy has also been shown at this spot and Garrison Church.
Criminal Court stands on the corner of 4 and 8 Avenues facing the river and having a very bold position.
Police Courts stand on No. 14 Avenue and in one corner of Square 4 east of principal market.
Gaol with entrance on 4 & 9 Avenue and bounded on two sides by the river makes the position very suitable.
Hospitals, a large hospital has been placed in the Square behind the business houses on 11 and 12 Avenues. The south of the city, In this position it is away from the noise and bustle and backs on to a large park looking over Red Hill.
A smaller one is placed at the corner of 7 and 14 Avenues, which is a Convenient position for an accident ward, being situated near the Factory district, Another is placed at the back of No, 9 Avenue to the south of the City away from the noise.
National Theatre, this is situated in 4 Avenue midway between 7 and 8 Avenues.
Central Power Station, situated between 7 and 9 Avenues,a railway siding running right in for coal &c.
Gas Works in the extreme north of the City by the railway siding which runs right into the works.
Markets, the principal market entrance is in Square S4 and between 14 and 18 Avenues, a railway siding runs at the back. Also a smaller market is placed on corner of avenues 9 and 14, opposite the Bridge.
Stadium, situated between 7, 13 and 14 Avenues, and the river and which allows plenty of room for exhibitions round it if necessary.
Parks and Gardens. The City is centered round a large central park with Kurrajong Hill to one end and Camp Hill the other, and leaving it wooded as now will lend a natural beauty to the scene. Also placed in numerous parts of the city especially amongst the residential portion which make recreation grounds tennis courts &c, for the residents and adorns the City as a whole. A large football and cricket ground is allowed for in the west of the City.
National Bank, situated on No, 8 avenue to the south of the park and close to the House of Parliament.
Tram Shed in a very convenient position in Station square.
Elementary Schools. Five are shown, one being to the south east on 13 Avenue, one between 7 and 9 Avenues, one amongst houses between 7 and 14 Avenues and the river, one close to Gas Works and last between 7, 8 and 14 Avenues.
Swimming Bath. On No, 9 Avenue, close to the Park, north of the river.
Fire Stations. Four are allowed for, one on No, 9 Avenue to the south of the river, one on 8 Avenue close to south of river, one on corner of 7 and 16 Avenues and one just behind No, 7 Avenue to the north of river between squares S3 and S4.
Public Libraries. One being amongst the villas to the south of Square 2, one behind 7 and 14 Avenues by the railway and one on 8 Avenue to the north of central park, the latter being the central one and the others branches thereof.
Military Academy. Opposite the Military Barracks.
Garrison Church - opposite the Military Barracks.
Football Ground, to the west of the city on Avenue 4.
Goods Yard. A large Goods yard adjoins the Station to the north east, A smaller one to the west of the Station.
Places of Public Worship, have been placed in different parts of the City, a large cathedral being placed on corner of Square Sl.
All main avenues are numbered and coloured yellow, they are 140 feet wide and constructed as per Del ail sketch on Drawing 3. The centre bed of turf is so placed not only to adorn the Avenue but in the event of traffic increasing considerably a part of this could be taken into the carriage-way; by this means the up-keep of the carriage-way is minimised.
In the smaller avenues or second class roads in the residential portion, the total width between houses is 100 feet and the other or third class roads will be 60 feet wide, both are shewn in Drawing 3 in section.
There are 6 bridges spanning the river, these are shown in detail on Drawing 4, numbers 1 and 5 the extreme west and east bridges are of suspension type 300' 0" span with stone piers supporting them, whilst 2 and 4 bridges are stone arched, the centre bridge No, 3 being an arched girder with stone towers at the ends.
Will be laid on all the principal Avenues running on either side of the centre grass plots and close in so that passengers will not have to alight in the middle of the traffic which is so disconcerting, the overhead or underground fed system can be worked in the City, but as the design has been planned to eliminate overhead work as much as possible by tunnelling, it would be preferable from an artistic point of view to instal the underground fed system and the upkeep after the first cost is about the same, in fact from statistics the London County Council of London, which is of this type, is 80 pence per car mile, and which is considerably less than many overhead systems now in use.
The railway is diverted from the original to the new position because it does not cut through the City and consequently obviates the noise, smoke, and general objections usually and unavoidable caused by trains, The main station is easily accessible from all parts of the City by tram which pass it from various main avenues and to the east of the station; space is allotted for marshalling yard and goods s a branch line comes in from the main line leading various factories and also to the power station, w on the west of the station a portion is reserved yard with its sidings and a branch line lead the principal market and also Gas Works are allowed for.
The sewers are arranged so that the storm flow into the foul sewer at intervals and so assists cleansing them, the foul sewer is connected to the sewer at various places in its entire length.
The main principal of the working of the drainage system is as follows:-
All street gulleys and roof drainage is passed into the storm sewer, whilst house drainage viz, from sinks, lavatories &c, is connected direct into the foul sewer and is borne away by gravitation to the main sewer and thence to the pumping station where it is pumped to a higher level and delivered to the treatment works, which should be bacterial, the liquid afterwards being passed through coke breeze to filter before finally turning it into the river.
With ordinary rainy days the water passing into the storm sewer from the gulleys and roofs and from there into the foul sewer is of inestimable value, cleansing the foul sewer very effectually, these being very liable to get deposits on the sides without a good flush of water occasionally. The volume of water, however, which sometimes falls (as stated one inch in half an hour) is of such magnitude, that it would flood the sewers and perhaps cause an outbreak of fever on account of the pollution of the water with sewerage. This has been overcome by introducing a storm overflow box on the storm sewers; it is a connection having an opening right through, the same size as the piping, and at the top an oblong hole 2 or 3 inches below the extreme top of the sewer. This oblong opening has a connection of piping, which leads into a larger pipe connecting direct with the river; so that when a large body of water suddenly descends, the drains get thoroughly washed first, and carried straight to the main drain, and, as the storm increases, the body of water rises until it reaches the aforesaid oblong holes, and by that time, being perfectly clean, clear water, it overflows into this opening and so straight to the river.
By this means we get a maximum amount of water necessary in the drains to thoroughly cleanse them and the overflows working automatically keep the sewers from becoming flooded without any worry or attention.
The Pumps at the Pumping Station should be centrifugal and of sufficient capacity to handle all sewerage which the main sewer is capable of carrying, and as this is of a size sufficiently large to allow of growth of the city, the margin or safety will be sufficient providing there is a spare pump in case of a breakdown.
In Drawing No, 2, the general plan of the sewers is shown, the thick. black lines show the main sewers, and where they meet at the pumping Station there is a fall of 1 in 400 in the main sewer, whilst the others vary according to the locality.
The thin black lines show the foul sewers and the direction of their fall to the mains, The green lines are the storm sewers which connect with the foul sewers at frequent intervals, and the thick blue lines show the storm overflow to the river.
On drawing No. 3 sections of the streets are shown which gives the relative positions of the sewers with regard to the surface and to each other, and a section is given of the storm overflow box.
The town of Carlisle is considered one of the best drained in England because they are able by means of a valve to flush the drains periodically from the river Derwent, and so get artificially what the new Federal City will get naturally by the arrangement described above.
CENTRAL POWER STATION
The central power station is situated close to the railway so that a siding can be run into it for coal supply, a dust destructor could be installed here to advantage because power will be required always for factory use and lighting at night whilst tram system will require it by day besides the Factories, so that a dust destructor could be kept going. All the waste and city refuse could be brought in by covered carts and the load dumped straight into the furnace. Sufficient number of carts would be necessary so that they could await their turn and save emptying on to a heap and polluting the air, The other boilers will be of the water tube type and the motive power large turbines for the heavy work and smaller turbines or reciprocating engines for the lighter work when less power is required. Space for cooling towers and water softeners have been allowed and a space for the carts and trucks mentioned above.
See under heading Sewerage.
There are 5 Drawings accompanying these notes -
1. The General Arrangement of the City.
2. The General Arrangement of the Sewerage.
3. Elevations of the Bridges.
4. Cross Sections of the Avenues and Storm overflow.
5. Elevations of some buildings, time has not permitted of extending these further.
1. For each of the public buildings or uses identified in the description, Stables used an abbreviation that appeared at the left margin opposite the first line of the item. Thus, "H.P." was the abbreviation for House of Parliament, and "D.T.C." stood for Department of Trades and Customs. Doubtless Stables used these abbreviations on the plan to make his design more easily understood by the judges.
Selected, transcribed, edited, provided with headnotes, and formatted as a web document by John W. Reps, Professor Emeritus, Department of City and Regional Planning, West Sibley Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA. Tel: (607) 255-5391, Fax: (607) 255-6681, E-mail: email@example.com To Top of Page To Homepage