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The port of Echuca on the Murray River is a site of State and National heritage significance. It draws visitors from across Australia and overseas through its status as Australia’s largest inland port and its reputation as a paddle steamer capital. 

SEMF was successful in delivering a $15 million redevelopment of the Port of Echuca with the assistance of Federal, State and Local Government funding. This included a major refurbishment of the heritage wharf and redevelopment of the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre. The Port of Echuca’s visitor experience is vastly improved from this major investment and provides the visitor with a compelling reason to visit Echuca.

The Discovery Centre plays a key role as a platform for visitors to explore and appreciate the broader Port site. The building has been designed to reinforce interpretation themes through spatial planning, built form, materiality and detail, a place to reveal the Port’s rich collection of stories.

The scale of the building carefully responds to the adjacent structure, drawing on their modest roof forms and timber cladding to integrate the Centre into the streetscape. The roof is shaped to sit the building comfortable within its context, its folded form a key component of the architectural language. Entry points are marked by Shady verandas and veiled by screens of recycled wharf timbers that evoke images of light filtering through the River Red Gums to reveal a strong connection with the land. 

Within the centre, the roof is expressed as an expansive canopy over the entry foyer, the highlight glazing on each end illuminating the space and assisting the timber ceiling to float gently above. 

"The Port of Echuca’s visitor experience is vastly improved and provides the visitor with a compelling reason to visit Echuca."

Specialist lighting is used for interpretive displays to enhance the visual aspects. The building services (Mechanical and Electrical) have been designed to provide visitors with comfortable and visually pleasing spaces whilst meeting and exceeding the requirements of the ‘Energy Provisions’ of the BCA.

Spaces overlap, open and contract, providing an abstract canvas for a myriad of stories to unfold, merging with each other to create a vivid sensory experience. 

SEMF provided key services in the Electrical, Communication, Mechanical, Water and Stormwater, gas, sewage, structural and geotechnical services.

Information was retrieved from JAWS architects and the Port of Echuca discovery centre. 

Posted by SEMF on 7 January 2015


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