The winners of CAPITheticAL, the international competition to design a hypothetical Australian capital city, were announced last night in Canberra as a highlight of the capital’s Centenary celebrations.
Western Australian landscape architecture firm Ecoscape won the $70,000 first prize for its submission, The Northern Capital.
Drawing on the need to address the issues of population growth; financial, political and economic development; environmental and climate concerns; farming and food production; and acknowledging Indigenous Australian culture, Ecoscape proposed a new northern capital situated on the shores of Lake Argyle in the north of Western Australia.
The jury – Professor Barbara Norman (Chair), Professor Alastair Swayn, Councillor John McInerney, Dr Catherin Bull AM and Callum Morton – awarded first and second prize, a commendation and a student prize from the 20 shortlisted entries, which share in a prize pool of more than $100,000.

  • First Prize ($70,000) – The Northern Capital by Ecoscape Aust Pty Ltd (FREMANTLE)
  • Second Prize ($30,000) – Sedimentary City Canberra by Brit Andresen and Mara Francis (BRISBANE)
  • Commendation – Made in Australia: The future of Australian Cities by Dr Julian Bolleter and Professor Richard Weller, of the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (PERTH)
  • Student Prize – Proto: Capital by Kate Dickinson and Annabel Koeck (SYDNEY)

Click here for all of the jury citations, media releases and images of the winning projects.

Check out the winning projects as well as the remaining shortlisted entrants at the CAPITheticAL exhibition now on display at the Gallery of Australian Design. The exhibition will remain open until the 11th of May.



CAPITheticAL opens at the Gallery of Australian Design on 6 March 2013 and winners will be announced on 14 March, sharing prizes worth up to $100,000. First prize is valued at up to $70,000.

Showcasing a selection of the CAPITheticAL international design competition entries, the exhibition will present a rich trove of ideas, both fantastical and practical, to provoke, amuse and ultimately delight visitors to the exhibition. Using plans, videos and drawings, each designer’s vision for the city of the future offers imaginative resolutions to questions of national symbolism and identity, access to government, sustainable development and community building. Further details here.



The shortlisted finalists in the CAPITheticAL international design competition have been announced at a cocktail reception at the Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 17 May 2012.

Over 1200 registrations were received from a range of practitioners: architects, urban planners, environmentalists and artists among them.

Reflecting the far reaching, international scope of registrations, the shortlist comprises entrants from all over Australia and the world, making CAPITheticAL an international celebration of Canberra. Read more

The CAPITheticAL Team
at the Australian Institute of Architects

Entries for stage 1 of CAPITheticAL

Entries for stage 1 of CAPITheticAL closed on 31 January 2012. 114 inspiring and thought provoking entries have been received from 24 countries around the world.

The judging is underway and the announcement of the shortlisted entrants who will proceed to stage 2 of CAPITheticAL will be held in Canberra on 17 May 2012.

Follow us on Twitter  for updates and news on the competition.

Good luck to all of the entrants!


The CAPITheticAL Team
at the Australian Institute of Architects


Your online entry

Dear Entrants

We are currently experiencing a high level of traffic to the website,  entries are flooding in before the deadline of 5pm today.

You can submit your entries here

If you are not directed to a confirmation page after submitting your entry, please email us and we can confirm that your entry has been received.

Thanks for your patience.


The CAPITheticAL Team
at the Australian Institute of Architects

Over 1000 register to enter CAPITheticAL

We’ve received over 1000 registrations from over 40 countries including Egypt, Russia, India, Germany, United States and the UK.  Let the competition begin!

Follow us on Twitter for updates and news on current issues facing our future cities.

Online entry system now open

You can submit your CAPITheticAL entries from 30 September 2011 to 31 January 2012.

We look forward to seeing your creative and thought-provoking entries that convey your design ideas for a hypothetical Australian capital city.

Haven’t registered? Register today and share your big design ideas.

If you have any queries about your entry or the system please email

We’d love to hear from you.

The CAPITheticAL team at
the Australian Institute of Architects


Can the city be built as part of an existing city or is it a completely new creation?

Read the answer to this question and many others in the Q&A document which includes answers to all entrant questions about the competition.


Do you have a passion for culture, cities and urban planning?

CAPITheticAL invites you to look back at the big ideas that shaped our national capital and look forward to the big ideas that will shape our future cities in the 21st century and beyond.

In the lead up to Canberra’s Centenary celebrations in 2013, it is timely to consider the factors and influences that lead to the city’s creation.

Artists, graphic designers, architects, urban planners and environmentalists are invited to review Canberra’s history and help our nation imagine how a hypothetical national capital might be created today.

Register now, entry is free.

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