National Capital Authority Design Review Panel

The National Capital Authority (NCA) Design Review Panel (DRP) has been established to provide independent expert design guidance on major projects within Designated Areas in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

The genesis of the DRP is the importance the NCA places on high quality architectural, urban and landscape design, and recognition of the value good design adds to the city and the community.

The DRP has met four times in 2014 and presentations have focused on projects associated with City to the Lake including the proposed development at West Basin and remodelling of Parkes Way. Capital Metro has also given a preliminary presentation to the panel. The next DRP meeting is scheduled for February 2015.

The Panel's role will evolve into an integral part of the NCA's development approval process. It will provide advice on development projects of significance to the National Capital, such as the City to the Lake and Capital Metro.

The Panel will, in time,  consider all scales of development from master plans, major infrastructure, individual buildings, landscapes and public spaces.

The NCA has selected a high calibre, expert panel with extensive planning and design experience at a national and international level. The terms of reference for the DRP are described below.

Who are the panellists?

The panellists include the following individuals:

Stephanie Knox 


Stephanie Knox portrait

Stephanie is an urban, regional and social planner. She has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Master of Town and Country Planning from the University of Sydney, is a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia and a Certified Practicing Planner.

She has extensive experience in a wide range of planning specialties, particularly social planning, healthy urban planning and design, community development, community safety, community consultation, strategic planning and project management. She has worked at all levels of government and in private consultancy, in urban, rural and regional Australia as well as overseas. She has also been an academic, teaching at Southern Cross University, RMIT University Melbourne and the University of Melbourne.

She is currently also a member of the Victorian Government's Design Review Panel and was previously National Chair of the Social Planning Chapter of the Planning Institute of Australia and a National Councillor of the Planning Institute of Australia and a member of the Victorian Heath Promotion Foundation Advisory Committee on Physical Activity, the Premiers Council for Physical Activity (Tasmania), the ACT Planning Authority's Expert Review Panel.

Perry Lethlean

BLArch MDes Urban Design PhD RMIT Adjunct Professor RMIT University FAILA ASLA
Director TCL

Perry Lethlean portrait

Perry is a nationally recognised urban and landscape designer. His work is widely published, particularly his successful entries for major national and international design competitions including the National Arboretum in Canberra and the University of Sydney. His skills in urban design, at both the large master planning and detailed design scale, make him a valuable asset to the company and clients. He is a sought after design lecturer and critic at Universities and as a juror for professional practice awards and advisory design bodies.

Perry has led the successful implementation of complex landscape and urban projects such as Auckland Waterfront Redevelopment, Geelong Waterfront Redevelopment, The Forest Gallery at the Melbourne Museum and The Australian Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne which won the 2013 World Architecture Forum, Best Landscape Award.

Andrew Metcalf  

B Arch (UTS), M Arch (Toronto)
Registered NSW Architect No 3191, Registered ACT Architect No 1023

Andrew Metcalf portrait

Andrew Metcalf studied at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the University of Toronto. As an architect he has worked in Canada, the United States and England as well as Australia. His projects have been published in Architecture, International Architect, Domus, Ambiente and Architecture Australia. Metcalf has authored several monographs including Undesign Your House (1983), Thinking Architecture (1995), Architecture in Transition (1997), Renzo Piano: Sydney (2001) and Canberra Architecture (2003). In addition, he has contributed to World Architecture, 1900-2000: A Critical Mosaic (1999) and was a contributor to The Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture (2011). He is also an architectural photographer with pictures appearing in monographs.

He has held teaching positions at the UTS and at the universities of Sydney, Toronto, Newcastle and Canberra which is his current affiliation and where he was a Professor of Architecture from 2000-2003. From 1999-2000 he co-ordinated a strategic design review of Canberra's “Parliamentary Zone” for the National Capital Authority after which he was commissioned to undertake several urban design studies for that organisation.

Presently Metcalf is Critic-in-Residence with BVN Architecture (Sydney and Brisbane), chairs the National Capital Authority's Design Review Panel and is the external member of the NSW Governments Architect's Design Review Panel. His is based in the Southern Highlands region of NSW.

Malcolm Middleton


Malcolm Middleton portrait

Malcolm Middleton was appointed Queensland Government Architect in July 2011 after a wide ranging 30 year career in private practice. He holds an honours degree in architecture from Sydney University and a masters degree in Urban Design from QUT.

In the role of Government Architect he chairs the Queensland Board for Urban Places and sits on a number of specific design review panels in the region.

He is past member of the Queensland Heritage Council, a former president of the Property Council in Queensland and served for 6 years on the South Bank Design Advisory Panel.

In 2011 he was the Awards Director for the AIA in Queensland and has served on numerous professional awards juries over many years. His private practice work includes work in the urban design, tourism, residential, education and commercial sectors including the Roma Street Parkland, Rail stations for the Brisbane Airtrain and the recent multi-award winning Hinze Dam Visitor Centre and Parkland.

Emeritus Professor, Dr Catherin Bull

AM, FAILA, MAICD, MLArch University of Melbourne, Dr Design Harvard University.

Stephanie Knox portrait

Catherin chairs and serves on boards, review panels and design juries across Australia, advising all levels of government and industry on land and urban development, design and management policy, strategy, process, outcomes and governance.

She is the author of the multi-award winning New Conversations with an old landscape - Landscape architecture in contemporary Australia Images Publishing 2002, the co-author and editor of international publication Cross-cultural urban design. Global or local practice? Routledge 2007 and has written over 50 book chapters, articles, papers and editorial roles.

Bob Nation


Bob Nation portrait

Bob Nation has been Design Principal of his Architecture Practices for over 40 years. He has won many Design Awards for his projects during this period in both Australia and Internationally.

He was educated in Australia and North America and has taught in many related Schools of Architecture, and contributed to the Australian Institute of Architects.

His roles in the Executive of this body, led to his selection as National President for the period 2005- 2006 and led the commitment towards an international engagement through the Venice Biennale and the establishment of the International Committee for off shore Australian Architects and their representation.

His projects have ranged in scale from, New City Planning, University Buildings, High Density and High Rise residential Developments to Group and Single Family housing, and is currently designing a number of Boutique hospitality projects throughout Asia.

He divides his time between Sydney, where he consults to the NSW Government as Design Adviser for the Barangaroo project and Asia , to oversee his projects in the field.

Alastair Swayn

Alastair Swayn portrait

Alastair has been the Director of the Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn Pty Ltd Architects ACT office in Canberra since 1979, and has shaped and overseen the growth of the office into a substantial practice.  The Practice has consistently undertaken architectural projects for universities and research organisations such as CSIRO, as well as a significant body of commercial office buildings.

In 2010 Alastair was appointed the inaugural ACT Government Architect.  In this role Alastair advises Government on design issues and is a member of a number of Design Review Panels within Government. In his role with the University of Canberra, Alastair facilitates research opportunities between Government and the University

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