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Port Lincoln Times

MOST locals when they watch Federal Parliament's question time wouldn't realise they're looking at the craft work of one of their own.

Parliament House in Canberra's central table and Hansard desk for the House of Representatives were crafted by Constantia founder Bernhard Koker, whose Port Lincoln-based furniture design company was recognised during the 25th anniversary of the opening of Parliament House earlier this year.

Constantia director Summer Koker and sister Heidi Koker were part of an exclusive group of 22 people invited to celebrate the anniversary through the launch of a book commemorating the building of the house on May 15.

The launch was for Pamille Berg's book Interwoven, which revisits all the major installations in the house in detail including the artists involved and features four pages dedicated to now retired Mr Koker's contribution.

Ms Berg was one of the chief architects and organisers for the making of the new Parliament House, which was opened in 1988.

Summer Koker said it was an honour to be invited.
"We were really proud," she said.

"My father hasn't spoken much about the job but Pamille indicated the central table and Hansard desk were the top jobs.

"Pamille made the observation that my father was one of the most efficient on site and helped with an enormous amount of problem solving associated with other technical issues such as the microphone inserts due to the movement in the wood."

The table was constructed in grey box, an Australian eucalypt that is difficult to work with but has great durability and suited the colour scheme in the house.

"The central table weighs over two tonnes and contains microphones and a complex circuit structure under the top for the wiring associated.

"The whole project took two years to complete including design and construction."

Ms Berg was a partner of Mitchell, Giurgola and Thorp Architects, at which Aldo Giurgola was the chief architect.

The Kokers were invited along with a small group of 20 other artists involved with the project for a personal tour of the house including areas that are normally off limits, followed by the book launch and a private dinner with Ms Berg, Mr Giurgola and associates.

By Natasha Ewendt


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