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Administered by: Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Published Date 17 Dec 2020

 

 

 

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

 

INCLUSION IN THE COMMONWEALTH HERITAGE LIST
OF

WEST PORTAL CAFETERIA

 

I, Sussan Ley, Minister for the Environment, having considered in relation to the place and the Commonwealth Heritage values described in the Schedule of this instrument:

 

(a)       the Australian Heritage Council's assessment whether the place meets any of the Commonwealth Heritage criteria; and

 

(b)       the comments given to the Council under sections 341JF and 341JG of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999; and

 

being satisfied that the place described in the Schedule has the Commonwealth Heritage values specified in the Schedule, pursuant to section 341JI of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, include the place and the specified Commonwealth Heritage values in the Commonwealth Heritage List.

 

 

 

Dated 

30 November 2020

 

 

Sussan Ley

Minister for the Environment


SCHEDULE

 

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

Australian Capital Territory

 

 

NAME:  West Portal Cafeteria

 

BOUNDARY:

About 0.3ha, 44 Constitution Avenue Parkes ACT, located within Block 8 Section 3 Parkes. Being the area enclosed by a line connecting the following GDA94 MGA Zone 55 points consecutively: 694431mE 6092880mN, 694486mE 6092839mN, 694459mE 6092803mN, 694421mE 6092832mN.

 


 

Criterion

Values

 

 

 

(a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(b)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(f)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(f)

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's importance in the course, or pattern, of Australia's natural or cultural history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Australia's natural or cultural history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period.

The West Portal Cafeteria was constructed as part of the programme to facilitate and support the establishment of a Federal Public Service in Canberra. Built under the direction of the National Capital Development Commission, the West Portal Cafeteria represents the work undertaken in Canberra to develop Australia's national capital, as the West Portal Cafeteria is an example of provisions provided to support federal public service officers in relocating to Canberra to solidify the capital as the centre for government.  
  
The West Portal Cafeteria also demonstrates aspects of the working life and conditions of public service officers in Australia in the 1960s. Government-funded cafeterias, including the West Portal Cafeteria, were provided for public service officers. The West Portal Cafeteria was one of at least eight services in the ACT in the 1970s, and part of a network of at least 74 services nation-wide until the provision of food services to public service officers ended in 1988. 
  
The West Portal Building is also a link to a previous era of importance in the social history of Canberra. It represents a time when Canberra was rapidly changing in a renewed push to develop the National Capital under the Menzies government. The establishment of the federal government services in Canberra is significant for the way it solidified the city as the centre of government, and providing services such as cafeterias was a way of supporting this established environment for the public service to work in. The West Portal Cafeteria is a built reminder of the services provided to facilitate the public service working in Canberra. 
  
These values are expressed through the West Portal Cafeteria building.

 

 

The West Portal Cafeteria was designed to cater for public service officers working in the nearby government department buildings. It has important historic value for its association with the early development of Canberra as the location for the Australian Government administration in the 1960s. The provision of the cafeteria is also important because of its ability to demonstrate the work practices and conditions of the time.  
  
The building is a rare free-standing design as most other Government cafeterias of the time were included inside office buildings. The West Portal Cafeteria was one of six free standing cafeterias built in the ACT during the 1960s, of which four were built for the purpose of providing for public service officers. As of May 2020, it is one of three remaining free-standing cafeterias left in Canberra, of which two were designed for public service officers, and is the most intact as per its original design.  
  
Free standing cafeterias demonstrate an uncommon and no-longer-functioning period of Australian history when governments were investing in services for public servants, including significant construction projects, to help establish the importance of Canberra as a national capital. As one of the few public service cafeterias remaining in Canberra, the West Portal Cafeteria Building is in a position to stand as a testament to the development and social history relating to the transfer of public service officers from Melbourne to Canberra in the 1960s, and a period when the federal public service was being established in Canberra. 
  
The West Portal Cafeteria also demonstrates high-quality design elements and materials which is rare in facilities designed for functioning cafeterias. The design intention for the West Portal Cafeteria was to provide a relaxing and separate environment to the nearby offices through the integration of natural landscaping which is an uncommon feature for work-related cafeterias. 
  
Features expressing this value include the West Portal Cafeteria building and its free-standing design, the garden setting and the high-quality building materials including stone, timber and copper featured in both the exterior and the interior of the building.

 

 

The West Portal Cafeteria displays a number of creative architectural design features and details, and is finished with quality materials which are significant due to their demonstration of a high degree of creative and technical achievement. 
  
The West Portal Cafeteria demonstrates creative achievement with regard to its 'organic architecture' style, a style championed by the work of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which influenced the design of the cafeteria. The style is demonstrated by the materials used throughout the cafeteria, the use of natural lighting and the integration of the garden setting and lake views. 
  
It also demonstrates the creative design achievements of the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) during an important period of Canberra's development as the National Capital. The building demonstrates the high levels of excellence in relation to architectural design typical of the work of the NCDC during the 1960s, significant for the way it reveals the commitment by the NCDC to creating high quality spaces for the national capital. 
  
The cafeteria building displays a number of distinctive and creative architectural features which demonstrate this achievement, including: its square in 'golden rectangle' pavilion form with encircling terrace and broad overhanging eaves as an extension of the internal ceiling finish; the horizontal character of the floor, ceiling and roof; the solid battered stone base and broad floating roof form sandwiching a continuous ribbon glass wall; the elegant roof form including the use of curves and angled elements, with a lantern/spire adding a contrasting vertical element; the dining room with its encircling windows, use of timber work, central coffered ceiling and skylight; andthe use of quality materials including stone, timber and copper. 
  
The West Portal Cafeteria was in part designed to create a relaxing and separate space for public service officers in a location away from the adjoining offices. To create the relaxed atmosphere, the design of the West Portal Cafeteria capitalised on the view of Lake Burley Griffin and brought in landscaping to create a separate and enclosed garden setting. 
  

The external and internal features used to create this relaxed and separate setting include: the raised platform to facilitate views of Lake Burley Griffin; the enclosed dining room with glazed façade; and the landscaped park-like setting and planter boxes. 
  
The features listed above express the heritage value of the West Portal Cafeteria's high degree of creative and technical achievements.