The opening of this building is a milestone in the establishment of a national Christian centre in the heart of the nation's capital
Reverend Professor James Haire, AM, Executive Director, ACC&C

George Browning House

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15 Blackall St, Barton ACT
January 1, 2008
Feasibility Studies, Full Architectural Services

707 m2


A centre for theological research that is designed to connect with the surrounding landscape and promote quiet, scholarly pursuit

George Browning House is located on the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C) campus in Canberra, which is also the site for the Charles Sturt University School of Theology. The two-storey building is a joint initiative of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn and Charles Sturt University, with active participation of other denominations. The building is the academic and administrative hub of the ACC&C; it contains academic offices suitable for theological research, from PhD to professor, and provides Charles Sturt University with a key university building in Canberra.

George Browning House is designed to be deferential to the Australian landscape with sustainability as a key design focus. It is a building of mass and presence, with thick masonry walls and deep window reveals that provide shading from the Australian sun. It is built of brick to match the colour of the surrounding landscape. A terrace on its northern corner connects to this landscape – part of the Australian bush. A narrow slot window in the boardroom requires a visitor to take the view of Lake Burley Griffin from a seated position, in deference to the landscape. The building follows the monastic tradition – the building’s presence is calm, demure and silent. It has a sense of permanence and of quiet, scholarly pursuit, which is reflected in the rich and welcoming interior.

Brief Elements


  • Offices surround communal spaces on both floors, which are flooded with daylight and are able to be naturally ventilated
  • Strong connection to the Australian landscape, through materials and colour choice
  • The building is a key step in the ongoing development of the site and fits within the masterplan
  • Building carefully sited to maintain important pedestrian links and provide views
  • George Browning House is the second building completed at the ACCC, following the Chapel, designed by BVN Donovan Hiill, and completed in 2003