Building Stones of the New Parliament House, Canberra

The New Parliament House on Capital Hill is an architectural form intended to express our national, cultural and political identity, and was designed to blend into the natural landforms and the city of Canberra. The distinctive geometry of the building includes impressive curved walls and incorporates some design aspects historically intrinsic to the development of Canberra.

Stone is a particularly fundamental and integral part of the building constituting much of the exterior and interior. Of the stone used about 90% is Australian. The remainder came from Italy (mainly the marbles) with a small proportion from India, Brazil and Europe (mainly for the Aboriginal mural).

In each location the stone was selected to be:

  • mutually compatible with other natural and man-made materials, 
  • durable,
  • the most appropriate aesthetically for individual locations, 
  • and indigenous, if available commercially

Granite dominates the stonework because of its recognized durability and compatibility with associated structures. Though not restricted to the inside of the building the marbles do tend to be more abundant in interior applications which are traditionally considered to be aesthetically more demanding.