LANDSCAPE OF EXPERIENCE News / 15.06.2018

Blurring the boundaries between Architecture and Landscape, the Lakeside Discovery Centre repurposes the Puffing Billy Railway as a space where people come together to celebrate the landscape and cultures old and new. McGregor Coxall worked with design lead BKK to develop the scheme as part of a design competition run by the Victoria State Government and minister for tourism. The new centre will cater to over half a million visitors a year and an expanding international tourism market. When complete the refurbished facility will house new retail, food and beverage services as well as event and conference facilities and museum.

The introduction of the railway in the early 1900s was a radical deployment of new technology, one which had a dramatic impact on the region, opening new food production, tourism and industry through the Dandenong Ranges. The landscape of the site juxtaposes the manicured European gardens of the lake with the pristine beauty of indigenous country. The railway bisects these two conditions and provides, though the Discovery Centre, a point of reconciliation. The main structure grows out of the land, designed to be subservient to the landscape and embedded within it. The heritage components are then reinterpreted, creating a tangible sensory experience.