Maker's WorkshopEdit profile
Makers’ Workshop on the coast of Australia’s southern-most State of Tasmaniais a major investment by the regional industrial town of Burnie (pop. 20,000)their a post-industrial future. Burnie’s history is inextricably linked to large scale industries and port services, including a massive pulp and paper mill on the waterfront. Over recent years, local creative initiatives have forged reputations for quality products, including Creative Paper which has developed a culture of value-adding to the paper production for which the town is known. In addition, Burnie’s role as a gateway to the fertile farming lands of the north-west coast of Tasmania has also resulted in a rich sense of its heritage as a rural centre – a history which had been displayed in a “Pioneer Museum”. By bringing together these two key functions – creative enterprise and town museum, Burnie Council proposed a visitor centre which contained both a memory of the past and a speculation about the future. TERROIR interpreted this brief as a capacity-building exercise for the future of the town. Given this was the first significant visible cultural investment in the town for decades, we pursued the idea of Makers’ Workshop as a 'living room' for the people of Burnie. A five spoke diagram is centred on a freely accessible orientation hub that features items from the museum’s collection. Each of the five spokes (or arms) houses a different function; back of house, paper making workshop, multi-purpose exhibition/theatre, café and a combined retail/gallery space. Each of the spokes is oriented toward a different aspect of the city and landscape and terminates with a large window that captures this. The building is contextually part of the collection of large-scale industrial objects along the coast. However, rather than adopt a sentimental pseudo-industrial aesthetic, these objects have been re-imagined as a set of giant 'toys' of which this building now forms a part. Our toy is a lighthouse of sorts, perched on the western headland above the beach, a sentinel both for passing ships and for the locals. Its lighthouse quality is furthered by the translucent Danpalon cladding providing an ever-changing façade during the day and evening. The interior features a ‘play’ on the shipping containers and the large portside woodchip pile, via lime-stained composite timber lining to the central ‘living room’. The interior palette of economical materials is augmented by an exhibition/fitout by David Lancashire Design. Makers’ is a major investment in a sustainable community and region. Materials, finishes and building systems were also selected for their contribution to a sustainable future, including the utilisation of alternate power sources for efficiencies at different loadings, automated controls, web-based monitoring of energy consumption and performance, and rainwater harvesting. The project was completed in November 2009 within a remarkable 15 months from the initial briefing, due largely to the development of a strong and clear vision for the project and the ownership of that vision by all stakeholders and participants.