Edmund Barton Building, Canberra. For unknown reasons, Heritage Listed.
Edmund Barton Building, Canberra. Heritage Listed. Seriously.

We at Dodgy Perth have used not a little ink in the past criticising WA architecture. So, for once, we turn our attention to a different city.

Colin Ednie-Brown, one of Perth’s most famous architects, had the misfortune to visit Australia’s new capital in 1927. ‘Designed’ by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, Canberra has been described as many things, but good is not one of them.

Ednie-Brown certainly did not mince has words:

From an architectural standpoint the place disgusted me.

Everything has come out of the same mould, whether it be a residence or a hotel. The money wasted and thrown away on such a type of buildings is appalling.

Most of the buildings are jerry-built, and of a poor quality of workmanship. The thing that struck me most was the obvious lack of expert supervision throughout the whole of the work.

It is hardly believable that such a scandal should ever have been allowed.

Okay, so Canberra was not exactly to Colin’s taste. Surely he liked something?

Just one building, really. The GG’s residence. But that was only because it was an adaptation of an old homestead.

Just in case you suspect that this is just one WA architect’s opinion. It wasn’t. Famously, Robert Menzies despised Canberra and was embarrassed to be seen there.

So whenever you need cheering up, just remember there are worse places you could live. Like Canberra.