John hollandJohn Holland

A national landmark and one of our proudest achievements.

Federal Parliament House

Officially opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1988 and incorporating world class design with the highest quality materials and workmanship, Parliament House is situated atop Capital Hill and is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia.

Development of the new Parliament House was one of Australia’s most complex and ambitious projects. The design is based on the shape of two boomerangs and is topped by an 81-metre flagpole. Parliament House is visited by over 10,000 people daily and provides accommodation for 3,500 people.

Set on a 32-hectare site, Parliament House covers 250,000m2 of floor space and contains 4,700 rooms and many areas that are open to the public. The main foyer contains a marble staircase that leads to the Great Hall that has one of the largest tapestries in the world – an enlarged version of an Arthur Boyd painting.

The scope included using 7,000 kilometres of cables and pipes, and 210,000 cubic metres of concrete. The curved granite walls are 460 metres long and 27 metres high at their peak. The walls were constructed using 23,000 separate slabs of granite, a process which took more than two years to complete.

The building features a vast array of services which were uncommon at the time, including electrical, lifts, ventilation, fire protection, emergency power generation, waste handling, hydraulic services and communication facilities.

  • Customer
    Commonwealth Government
  • Location
    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
  • Specialisation
    Sport, tourism & culture
  • Start
    February 1981
  • End
    May 1988
John holland
During the eight years of construction, there were over 500 contracts for separate trades to carry out the works and the project’s workforce peaked at 2,500.
About one million cubic metres of rock was excavated from the site and most of the granite was sourced from Australia.
Parliament house was designed by Philadelphia architectural firm Mitchell/Giurgola who won the international design competition that attracted 329 submissions.


John Holland pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Custodiams of the land on which we work and live, and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples today.