Led by sustainable design
The multi-year design of the precinct has prioritised the health of native ecosystems as well as promoting strong relationships with natural surroundings. The 1.2 ha Norgrove Park & Eco-Pond features 2,500m2 of wetlands and a 3m-deep eco pond that treats stormwater run-off. This park makes up just 50% of land preserved for open space along Kingston Foreshore, with two kilometres of shoreline along Lake Burley Griffin providing habitat for native fauna.
Planning for the site has incorporated key environmentally sustainable development (ESD) principles addressing energy use, air quality, potable water consumption and water management.
Infrastructure development has also prioritised passive energy use and sustainable design principles. Minimum 6-star energy ratings, community gardens, stormwater retention tanks, sustainable building materials and the creation of electric-vehicle-ready basements have all been prioritised by developers.
From 1913 until 1994 the Kingston Foreshore site had a variety of uses, including the original Powerhouse, Fitters' Workshop, Bus and Transport Depot, Government Printing Office and other light industrial businesses and workshops.
A national design competition for the site was held in 1997. The award-winning Master Plan embraced the area's heritage through the creation of the Kingston Arts Precinct. Central to the precinct are the three heritage-listed buildings: the Powerhouse (now the Canberra Glassworks), the Former Transport Depot (now the Old Bus Depot Markets) and the Fitters' Workshop.