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Burnie Makers’ Workshop / TERROIR

  • Architects: TERROIR
  • Location: Burnie TAS, Australia
  • Client: Burnie City Council
  • Project Budget: $4.2 million
  • Area: 1500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Brett Boardman

© Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman

From the architect. Makers’ Workshop represents a major investment in a post-industrial future by the town of Burnie, on Tasmania’s north-west coast. Until recently, the town has been known primarily for its large scale industries, such as the massive waterfront pulp and paper mill, and busy port.

A local initiative born from the town’s paper heritage, Creative Paper, has built a reputation for high quality, handmade paper products. In addition, the town has a rich sense of its heritage as a rural centre.

© Brett Boardman
© Brett Boardman

TERROIR transformed the brief for a new visitor and cultural facility, combining the industry and museum components into something even more community oriented, with the idea of providing a ‘living room’ for the town.

A five-spoke diagram is centered on an orientation hub that has free access for the public and features items from the museum’s collection. Each of the five spokes (or arms) houses a different function – back of house, paper-making workshop, multipurpose exhibition/theatre, café and a combined retail/gallery space – and within some are individual ‘pods’ for local ‘makers’ with whom the public can interact.

© Brett Boardman
© Brett Boardman

Each spoke terminates with a large picture window that captures portions of the panoramic view – identifying different aspects of Burnie: port, town, hinterland, Bass Strait and adjacent heritage buildings.

Contextually, the building is understood as part of the collection of industrial objects along the coast. Rather than adopt a sentimental pseudo-industrial aesthetic, however, these objects have been re-imagined as giant ‘toys’ with which this project joins.

Our toy is a lighthouse of sorts on the western headland above the beach, a sentinel both for passing ships and for the locals. The translucent Danpalon cladding, providing an ever-changing façade throughout the day, furthers its lighthouse quality.

The project was completed within a remarkable 15 months from the initial briefing, due in large part to the client’s strong vision, developed in association with cultural and tourism-related projects strategic consultants, and the shared commitment from the team of contractors.

© Brett Boardman
© Brett Boardman

The Burnie City Council’s appreciation of the benefits of seeking innovative, contemporary design for this important project for the Burnie community and the value of engaging a young and energetic team to achieve a unique outcome is, in our experience, exemplary.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"Burnie Makers’ Workshop / TERROIR" 17 Dec 2010. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/96121/burnie-makers-workshop-terroir/>