- Interior Designer:Cassandra Kiss
- Technician:Luke Wisby
- Project Manager:Campaspe Shire Council
- Builder:Contract Control Services
- Interpretation Strategy:Hierophant Communications
- Building Surveyor:Building Issues
- Archaeologist:Cosmos Archaeology
- Project Architect:Catherine Williams
- Project Director:Neal Mackintosh
- Heritage Architect:David Button
Text description provided by the architects. The Port of Echuca on the Murray River is a site of state and national heritage significance. It draws visitors from across Australia and overseas through its status as Australia’s largest inland port and its reputation as the paddle steamer capital.
The Discovery Centre plays a key role as a platform for visitors to explore and appreciate the broader Port site. The building has been designed to reinforce interpretation themes through spatial planning, built form, materiality and detail; a place to reveal the Port’s rich collection of stories.
The scale of the building carefully responds to the adjacent structures, drawing on their modest roof forms and timber cladding to integrate the Centre into the streetscape.
The roof is shaped to sit the building comfortably within its context, its folded form a key component of the architectural language. Entry points are marked by shady verandahs and veiled by screens of recycled wharf timbers that evoke images of light filtering through the River Red Gums to reveal a strong connection with the land.
Within the Centre, the roof is expressed as an expansive canopy over the entry foyer, the highlight glazing on each end illuminating the space and assisting the timber ceiling to float gently above.
The undulating ceiling generates a fluid movement sequence to guide visitors on a journey through the interpretive spaces, the building enfolding on itself to form an internal courtyard as a key orientation device.
Spaces overlap, open and contract, providing an abstract canvas for a myriad of stories to unfold, merging with each other to create a vivid sensory experience.