Visi­tor cen­tre vi­sion comes to life

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

LO­CAL ar­chi­tect Charles Wright says it is “fan­tas­tic” to see flesh, or at least steel and con­crete, be­ing put onto the bones of his dream for the Cairns Botan­i­cal Gar­dens vis­i­tors’ cen­tre.

“It’s been a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for us,” Mr Wright said. “Coun­cil was look­ing for some­thing in­no­va­tive and green.

“They wanted a build­ing that was cam­ou­flaged to a de­gree, so we did some lat­eral think­ing.

“We pre­sented a con­cept to coun­cil much like the suit out of the movie

some­thing that re­flects the sur­round­ings.”

While the build­ing hope­fully won’t be­come the fo­cal point for a horde of ma­raud­ing aliens bent of killing Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger, they would prob­a­bly ap­pre­ci­ate the de­sign and con­struc­tion.

“It’ll have an elec­tropol­ished stain­less steel fin­ish with an anti-ox­i­dant coat­ing, so it won’t get scratched, it won’t rust,” Mr Wright said. “Be­cause the build­ing is nes­tled in the trees, the re­flec­tive facade will ba­si­cally re­flect all the trees around it.”

The vis­i­tors’ cen­tre, which will in­cor­po­rate an in­ter­pre­tive cen­tre, café, meet­ing room and undercover am­phithe­atre along with room for 30 coun­cil staff, also in­cor­po­rates many “green de­sign” fea­tures.

“It’ll have so­lar pan­els, rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing and it’s also got a mixed-mode ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem,” Mr Wright said.

“The build­ing re­lies on air­flow, cross-ven­ti­la­tion and pas­sive de­sign fea­tures to re­duce the ther­mal load.”

The cen­tre is due to open in June.

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