Fiji State House Grounds
The client brief was to represent a comprehensive display of Fiji’s past, present and future, whilst enhancing the grand setting originally envisaged.
Located in the heart of Suva, the State House of Fiji, accommodates the residence and offices of the Fijian President. This restored 1927 colonial establishment, including its ancillary buildings, perches on the elevated section of a 40-acre estate, significant for its cultural and historical background, and with a prominent position overlooking Suva Harbour.
The client brief was to represent a comprehensive display of Fiji’s past, present and future, whilst enhancing the grand setting originally envisaged. Furthermore, CUSP were directed to reference Istana, Singapore’s official Presidential residence, a domain successfully created to highlight Singaporean culture, history, and regional status. Site challenges were encountered in the distinct level changes and existing mature vegetation framework. This provided opportunities to emphasise the presence of the State House; to delineate use areas and to heighten the experience of traversing the estate.
An important feature of the masterplan was the review of the arrival sequence from the main gate through to the Porte cochere entry of the State House. Enhancement included strengthening the existing Royal Palm avenue, a proposed lake system; and incorporation of a formal ceremonial zone. This centerpiece zone combined a parade ground; a new setting for the State House front entry and managed views to and from the main building. In consultation with botanists from the University of South Pacific, extensive theme gardens were included into the design to provide a botanical and cultural overlay to the estate with an emphasis on providing local Fijians access to their nations rich and diverse background.
Following presentation to the client body, the masterplan was firmly endorsed and is now waiting Treasury approval ahead of Stage 1 works.