A living room for a town
Burnie Makers was a rare public investment in a small coastal town in north-west Tasmania suffering the loss of its old heavy industries. Understanding the need for a transformative approach to the economy, a group known as Burnie Makers focused on pivoting the old paper mill to the tertiary processing, recycling and crafting of paper products. To make sense of the investment, other functions were co-located with the makers, such as a visitor centre and local museum.
The exterior is an incredibly lean combination of precast concrete and translucent Danpalon sheeting, selected for their economy, erection speed and abstract qualities when seen in the context of the port. Climatic considerations also demanded a taut skin that, as with Nordic buildings, bluntly delineates between inside and out. As a result, the project sits like a large waterfront ‘toy’ on the headland. This taut appearance is countered by the imaginary of the third space, which reaches out beyond the envelope to the spaces around and forms part of them. The building exceeded the economic forecasts for the original brief since, without an entry charge, visitors came regularly to this new ‘living room’ for the whole town.
“A fine balance of contextual references results in an iconic landmark quality appropriate to such a prominent site"AIA Awards Jury Citation
"Third Space" Diagram
Program: Plan Organisation
Program: Consolidation and Expansion of Public Space
Final Plan: Core Public Spaces
Final Plan: Additional Public Spaces
Final Plan: Complete