Wanted: Quality replacements for Currong Apartments

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There’s no doubt that the ACT Government has put an emphasis on communications and marketing when it comes to particular urban developments. This is very evident in the number of media statements in circulation.

There’s one media statement currently circulating about the pending demolition of the Currong Apartments in Braddon on the edge of Civic. To be honest, the media statement does not say much except to watch out for new fencing and sheds going up on the site in preparation for the coming demolition.

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I guess we should all be packing the car with chairs and drinks and setting up nearby to watch the new fences and sheds being erected. Should be exciting stuff.

The proposal to demolish these buildings and to offer the site for redevelopment has not been trouble free. Originally, the government developer (the Land Development Agency), wanted to allow the lucky developers the chance to build a 15-storey buildings. After some stressful negotiations with nearby residents, this has now been modified.

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The real test now will be what measures the government agencies put in place to ensure quality design outcomes, including how these buildings will deal with the environmental issues of the 21st century.

It should not be too much to ask that the new towers have double glazing, quality sound and temperature insulation, extensive solar across the rooftops and ample greenery in the surrounding open spaces. And generous balconies!

In theory the new buildings, if designed well, should be a very positive addition to this northern edge of Civic. Let’s hope that the agency with oversight of this redevelopment has an eye to enhance the urban amenities of the suburb and will be taking this opportunity to provide 21st century quality housing.

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Would it be asking too much for the government to put in place some published performance standards? Relevant agency chiefs should be required to achieve a high standard of measurable design and environmental outcomes in the quality of this build. Their future employment contracts should be dependent on their success in delivering high quality architecture.

Meanwhile, with the arrival of the new fencing and sheds as set out in the current media release, we can only watch, wait and live in hope that we are seeing the beginnings of something wonderful that will be replacing the Currong Apartments.

One has to stay optimistic – just for the moment at least!

Are there stories out there from people who have lived in the Currong Apartments at any time in the previous decades?

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