National Carillon Façade Remediation

National Carillon with a clouded Mount Ainslie in the background
Remediation of the National Carillon Façade
Project Type
Asset Renewal
National Carillon, Queen Elizabeth II Island, Lake Burley Griffin
Construction Start Date
Completion Date
Temporary Road or Lake Closures

Project Overview

The National Carillon, located on Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Island, was originally opened in 1970.

The Carillon was a gift to Australia from the British Government in 1963 to commemorate the fiftieth jubilee of Canberra’s founding as the National Capital. The Carillon is recognised as being of heritage significance and is listed in the Commonwealth Heritage List (ID105346).

The 50-meter-tall structure is comprised of three free standing triangular towers, which are clad with precast ferrocement façade panels. The towers provide support to slabs that form the three floors for the clavier chamber, bell chamber and viewing gallery.

In accordance with good asset management practice, a detailed structural inspection was undertaken by the NCA to assess the condition of the facade and underlying reinforced concrete structure.

The investigation identified defects with the facade panels, flexible waterproof sealant (façade joints) and the cementitious waterproofing membrane across the structure.


A package of works to address the identified defects has been developed and includes the following scope items:

1. Specialist facade cleaning to full external surfaces

2. Concrete repairs to the external cladding panels

3. Renewal of all external panel joint sealants

4. Roof system upgrades, including new gutters and drainage

5. Glazing works, including a review and replacement of seals where required

6. Application of protective coating to external face of ferrocement cladding panels.


Project Benefits

The project goal is to restore and protect a national landmark for future generations to enjoy.

We aim to repair and restore the façade panels, that are a cement and quartz aggregate blend, close to original finish. Cleaning away years of staining and contaminants that build up over time. We will also be repairing any small cracks and damaged sections. This will result in an aesthetic uplift to the overall building.

The renewal of the waterproofing systems will protect the structural elements of the building preventing deterioration and damage that may be caused by water passing through the structure.  


Latest News

Contract Signed

Contract signed for Construction Works 26 September 2023 Trials started 16 October 2023 to test work methods and products to be utilised through construction. Site compound for construction established 23 to 25 October 2023.

Car Park & Island Closure

This work requires the closure of multiple carpark spaces near Carillon. For more detail, please visit the webpage Queen Elizabeth II Island - Temporary Carpark Closure

Closure of QEII Island and Construction is due to start 31 October 2023


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Frequently Asked Questions 

Yes. This is routine asset renewal to ensure the longevity of the Carillon. It is a responsibility of the NCA to ensure that assets we manage are well maintained.

Elements of the building would start to deteriorate quicker and the risk of serious damage increases. Timely intervention is safer and far more cost effective in the long term.

This project will have very minimal impact on traffic. Some parking spaces will be unavailable adjacent to the Carillon. Otherwise, there will only be temporary traffic management in place when equipment is being moved to and from QEII Island. More information about current road and path closures can be found by visiting our Current Closures page.

This project will have minimal impact on Lake Users. QEII island will be closed to the public preventing people landing watercraft. It will have an aesthetic impact to lake vistas during construction with the erection of mast climbers to facilitate works.
There will be grinding and drilling during the works, but only with hand tools. Therefore, given the location of the carillon, there will be minimal noise impact to any neighbouring building or to the public.
The project is expected to take expected to take six months to complete. Construction will start in November 2023 and continue through to May 2024.