Submitted by Liz Foo

Terroir's Koondrook Wharf Shortlisted in World Architecture Festival 2018

Australia - Jun 29, 2018 - 07:04   2480 views

Building on World Architecture Festival Announces Strong Shortlist For 2018, the World Architecture Festival's 536-long list of "Future, Completed and Landscape" projects from all over the globe await the main event happening from 28-30 November later this year. Shortlisted under "Landscape - Rural Projects", Terroir Architects' Koondrook Wharf stands against submissions by AECOM, Batlle i Roig Arquitectura, Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter with Landskapsfabrikken and Shma Company. 

Image credit courtesy of Gannawarra Shire Council

"Mural artwork of redgum, slate and basalt showcases Koondrook's rich history, a Koori story, and features the Murray, Gunbower Creek, redgum forests, the Kerang lakes and the river through to Murrabit as told by local Barapa Barapa elder, Aunty Esther."

Situated in Koondrook, the wharf rests in a regional town on the Victorian side of the Murray River between Echuca and Swan Hill. Predominantly funded by the federal and state government through the Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program and additional help from the Shire, the landing stage aims to harbour tourist attraction and vibrancy to the reinvigorated site. Terroir's involvement in the Koondrook Wharf stemmed from the completion of the Ned Kelly Centre in Glenrowan, another partnership with Hirst Projects and interpretive art consultant Thylacine.

The brief for Koondrook Wharf required the retention and reinstatement of original wharf structure. This historic wharf had served as a vital trading point for riverboats since the late nineteenth century. Formally opened to the public in November 2016, the wharf permits summer paddlers and water crafts to berth and pick up passengers. The floating pontoon is also suited to recreational pursuits such a canoeing and fishing. Constructed alongside where the original wharf was located the new facility allows visitors to walk the 28 metre ramp down onto the platform, bridging the gap between land and water. 

"TERROIR in partnership with Hirst Projects, worked with the Shire and the local business community to identify the potential of the town of Koondrook, on the Murray River to create new opportunities for tourism, linking with state and regional strategic directions," said Terroir Architects.

Terroir's approach involved extensive community consultation to identify the three key functions; for boats, as a heritage interpretation (of the former wharf from bygone industrial days) and recreational use. This lengthy but crucial back and forth process of consultation and consistent improvement, primarily drove the success of the project with the backing of the local community and stakeholders. The development of infrastructure supports new businesses on the river and encourages further adaptive re-use of buildings in the township. Such business modelling continues positive after-effects and creates a sustainable future for the community it sits in. 

The project has also been shortlisted in three separate categories of the 2018 Victorian Architecture Awards recently. The Koondrook Wharf has been shortlisted in the Small Project, Urban Design and Regional categories, pending results to be released on the 29th of June 2018.

All images © Adam Gibson, courtesy of Terroir Architects, unless otherwise stated.

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