The answer is not always a building
Koondrook is one of many small regional towns grappling with the transition from industrial and agricultural to serviced-based economies. While the challenge is obviously economic, it is also cultural as the community composition shifts and new means of socialising evolve. The answer was not necessarily a building, a visitor centre. TERROIR (with Hirst Projects) conducted a broad study into these issues as they manifest in the public realm and identified that the wharf was a place where investment in public infrastructure might be best made to address these issues.
The project subsequently consisted of a series of elements: a new jetty, spaces among the trees on the entry threshold to the jetty, a plaza on the land adjacent to the old wharf and some steps that explore the tidal zone. A connective tissue in the form of a timber platform gathers these elements together and weaves between the trees in the tidal zone. Key materials were sourced locally, including the redgum timber, cut and milled only a few kilometres from the site.
The work and attitude of the practice was exemplary from start to finish. Terroir were able to develop a trust-based relationship with Council, community and all stakeholdersChris WhiteFormer Community Development Manager at Gannawarra Shire Council and Regional Development Victoria's Mallee Regional Partnership Coordinator