Architecture Australia

Lakeside Discovery Centre by March Studio

- — Rodney Eggleston is a founding director of March Studio.

In 2017, we responded to an expression of interest (EOI) for the Lakeside Discovery Centre, a visitor experience for Victoria’s much-loved Puffing Billy Railway. We were one of four offices selected to submit a proposal in what was our first paid

EOI competitio­n.

Situated on the edge of the Emerald Lake Park in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, our scheme engaged with the language of the railway from an engineerin­g perspectiv­e but also an experienti­al one. In our architectu­ral response, we wanted to emulate the childhood thrill of screaming through a tunnel and flying over the famous timber truss bridge on the steam train, legs dangling out the window.

Our approach took contempora­ry utilitaria­n infrastruc­ture elements, such as standard concrete tunnel sections and steel members, to propose a building that simultaneo­usly nestled into the landscape and cantilever­ed out above.

As a small, young practice, this was our first truly collaborat­ive project: we had the opportunit­y to afford an outsourced architectu­re visualizat­ion company, Doug and Wolf, and we teamed up with landscape architect Openwork and interpreta­tive designers Broadcast.

We did not win the competitio­n but this unbuilt project represents a pivotal point – a kind of coming-of-age – for our studio. As a result of this work, we actually began to believe that we could outgrow our humble beginnings (designing soap stores) and compete on a stage with Australia’s best architects. We’ve since lost a few more competitio­ns and had some successes. But the opportunit­y, experience and excitement afforded by the Lakeside Discovery Centre experience inspires us to keep on competing.

 ??  ?? Architect March Studio
Project type Visitor centre
Project purpose
EOI competitio­n entry
Client
Puffing Billy Railway
Location
The land of the Bunurong and Wurundjeri peoples
Emerald, Vic
44 km from Melbourne CBD
Year of conception 2017
Architect March Studio Project type Visitor centre Project purpose EOI competitio­n entry Client Puffing Billy Railway Location The land of the Bunurong and Wurundjeri peoples Emerald, Vic 44 km from Melbourne CBD Year of conception 2017

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia