BIRUBI POINT DESIGN COMPETITION News / New Project / 22.01.2018

The Worimi Conservation Lands contain the largest mobile coastal sand dune system in the Southern Hemisphere. Beyond its physical attractions and adventure tourism offerings, it is also the native land of the Worimi people - a site rich in the living cultural history of its original inhabitants and custodians. The Birubi Point Interchange will be a stepping stone to creating infrastructure for the evolution of the many experiences to be had across Worimi Conservation Lands and within its landscapes.

McGregor Coxall was selected to participate in a competition to design a tourist interchange to balance the growing demands of international and domestic tourism with the sensitivities of place, local operations and the local culture and environment. Central to our approach was the need to respect and cultivate the heritage of the Worimi people, the Worimi Conservation Lands and Birubi Point Aboriginal Place.

The brief called for a transport interchange to satisfy immediate operational demand, with an expectation of developing additional visitor and interpretation facilities as use, appreciation and custodianship of the Conservation Lands evolved. Working with design partners CHROFI Architects, Royal Haskoning (Traffic) and Biosis (Ecology) the team curated a place-specific “story of the wandering sands,” with visitors invited to linger and actively experience the landscape, focusing on the physical and cultural heritage. This slowing down of time was reflected in a staged approach to the overall project, with the expanded project delivery, facilities operation and material performance all responding to the expanded time frame.

Co-funded by the NSW Government (Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure Fund) and Port Stephens Council, the project is also supported by key stakeholders on the Birubi Point Cultural Heritage Advisory Panel, including the Council, Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management, Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Birubi Point Surf Life Saving Club. McGregor Coxall will work with all these stakeholders and more to create a viable and visionary outcome for Birubi Point Aboriginal Place and the entire Worimi Conservation Lands.