Penguin Parade Visitor Centre, Philip Island Nature Parks, Victoria Building, Australian Modern Architecture Photos
Penguin Parade Visitor Centre on Philip Island
6 Dec 2021
Location: Philip Island Nature Parks, Victoria, Australia
Photos by Peter Bennetts and John Gollings
As its managers, Philip Island Nature Parks (a not-for-profit organisation) is a pre-eminent authority on care for penguins and their habitat, so this Penguin Parade Visitor Centre must balance the twin ambitions of eco-tourism and conservation.
Penguin Parade Visitor Centre
The Centre forms a nexus between the dunes, headland and wetland, linking all three delicate landscapes, while responding specifically to each, both formally and experientially.
Clad externally in zinc, the weathering power of this rugged coast will in time etch itself onto the Centre’s abstract form.
Splayed in different directions towards beach, headband and wetland, its tough, self-finishing outer shell is matched inside by exposed structural timbers lined with plywood.
This project provides the opportunity to house a group of visitors with expanded agendas and interests, while simultaneously addressing the disjunction between the logistical pressures of a high-volume event space and the intimacy of encountering a small penguin in its natural habitat. Circulation is the primary element upon which a larger spatial system is developed.
Here, the system extends from the carpark, through the building and down a boardwalk (also being redeveloped) to the beach where the penguins come ashore.
The path is supported by other programs at various points along its length and, as it passes through the building, is elaborated via a series of seats, desks and thresholds into other parts of the building.
These elaborations form the third space – a suite of elements that, in their thickening of the circulation experience, also serve to slow it down, focus it, and ultimately prepare visitors for their encounter with the little penguins of Phillip Island.
Penguin Parade Visitor Centre, Philip Island Nature Parks, Victoria – Building Information
Completion date: 2019
Photography: Peter Bennetts and John Gollings
Penguin Parade Visitor Centre, Philip Island images / information received 061221
Location: Philip Island, Victoria, Australia
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