© 2017 Studio Apparatus

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Dandenong Discovery Centre
Architectural design
(Emerald Lake Park, 2009)

Concept design for a Dandenong Discovery Centre to be associated with the Puffing Billy Railway (2009) at a site immediately adjacent to the station at Emerald Lakeside Park. The park is a popular summer day trip destination with garden walks and aquatic activities such as a wading pool and paddle boats. It is the halfway point along the railway from Belgrave to Gembrook, where trains pause and passengers may rest or spend a few hours before continuing their journey.

A discrete box perched amongst the trees was proposed, raised on the site with a covered verandah space acting as an extension to the station platform. This provided visitors with a generous covered space to gather in inclement weather (in the rainforest it can be quite wet) as well as immediate access to the centre facilities and a much-shortened connection into Lakeside Park. Visually it borrowed from the language of railway engineering, remaining sensitive to the heritage railway. The centre included a 200-seat auditorium, interpretative and education displays and exhibits, gallery, cafe, etc. to provide an improved experience for visitors to the park.

Project team: Anna Tweeddale, Elizabeth Hamer, Teresa Tweeddale
Client: Puffing Billy Railway + Tourism Victoria