Entry for the OpenGap inNATUR Design Competition: The Hanging Rock Visitor Centre has been designed to seek an embodiment of the duality of the cultural landscape between Aboriginal and European people – and exploring the meaning of built edifice to that of the natural landscape.
The split form is at once an ode to the landforms of the genus loci (rock out-crops) and the cultural interweave of local cultures. The building is distinctly two forms, the same yet mirrored & reversed to give a individuality & yet allowing each to speak – open faced to one another in constant dialogue. This dialogue is continued to the landscape by the form of the building, mimicking the shafts of rock and forming of stairs. The material selection speaks to the land by use of rusted steel cladding resembling iron ore found in the rock formations and sustainably harvested internal timber panelling of various species of local trees that is decorative & informative in describing the locations unique qualities of flora. The placement of the Centre creates a destination for visitation – and viewable from approach from below. This does question the appropriateness of seeing a built form to such a location. Here the built edifice has been designed to mimic the forms of the landscape, but not replicate. Its form, massing and connection to the place pay respect to the land and to the first people, Australia’s Aboriginal people.
Placing: 2011: Short-listed
Design & 3D Imagery: © Jonathan Gibb 2011