- Architect In Charge:M3 Architecture
Text description provided by the architects. This project transforms an iconic outback Queensland pub into stage 1 of a cultural and tourism hub. The building contains an information centre, history room, a commercial tenancy, and sets out the shell for an art gallery.
The pub, which was built in 1910, closed down a number of years ago and was purchased by the Barcaldine Regional Council in 2011. The Council’s vision was for a distinctive contemporary statement on a prominent corner in the main street. As Council’s architects, we proposed an outcome that would communicate this vision as well as celebrate the existing building.
Our design focuses on a series of new layered experiences. The project is a respectful, contemporary version of the single skin built form and allows the town to both retain, and build on, its history.
The original perimeter verandah, more than 100 years old, was structurally unsafe and needed to be rebuilt. This gave us the opportunity to look at appropriate (contemporary) forms of protection and layering for the existing single skin walls.
The nature of single-skinned construction allows us to see and understand the layers of a building – the load bearing structure, the bracing, the cladding and the ornament.
The building opens up to reveal the extent of layering at all scales; the street, the verandah, the wall and its frame, ornament and the interior room, the wrapping verandah and screens, and finally the landscape beyond. Balustrades are expressed cross braced timber frames, which mimic the structure and layering of the existing walls and reference the cross braced road train carriages that pass by. The verandah posts, balustrades, rain and shade screens, external ornament and stairs layer over each other to protect the single-skinned walls.
Translucent twin-wall cladding, transparent polycarbonate linings, and powder coated SS screening all add new layers to the building. The result reframes the building in bold abstracted gables, and elongated verandah forms.
A new weathered western steel screen combines the pattern of the existing wall framing and bracing with the original verandah lattice screen and the ornament of the interior door lights. The screen, in the colour of the local soil, fluctuates between acting as a wall, a form of lattice and an experience of suspended landscape. Appropriate for a single-skinned building in a town known as an outback oasis.
The project was designed in association with Brian Hooper Architect, and is 300m from the national award-winning Tree of Knowledge project (also designed by m3architecture in association with Brian Hooper Architect in 2009).