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Wetlands is a very important element in Australia's vast landscape. It is the source of food, water, home and spirit for the Aboriginal Australian.

This project is located at McGrath Flat, Coorong, South Australia. The brief asked for a Wetlands Learning and Research Centre with a central gathering/learning space and cooking facilities, shared accommodation and cleaning facilities intended for short-stay groups of visitors like students up to 48 persons.

Taking inspiration from the Dreaming Story of the Aboriginal Australians, the design is a series of 'experience' which forms a 'story' as one travels along the building. The proposed building is stretched into a elongated complex with a series of rooms arranged according to intended programmes, from public to semi-public to private areas.

Using the 'touch the earth lightly' principles, the resulting design has long thin plan which encourage cross ventilation. The views towards the wetlands on south-west is maximized; however to compensate the heat loss in cold seasons, thermal mass is used on the northern facade to capture and store heat. Veranda is used for shading and provide a semi-private porch in front of the dormitories. The use of local materials such as rammed earth and timber minimises the embedded energy and carbon footprint of the structure, and allows the buildings and its colours and textures fit into the context of a seasonal wetlands in South Australia.

Related project: Ubirr Wetlands Learning & Research Centre

2012