Puffing Billy is a much-loved historic steam railway in the Dandenong Ranges on Melbourne’s eastern fringe.
Our Lakeside Discovery Centre is a scheme for a space to celebrate the railway, the local landscape and the cultures, old and new, that exist there.
Puffing Billy’s rich heritage elements range from small signal components to the impressive locomotives themselves.
In traditional style, its heritage buildings are located on or above the landscape. By contrast, our Discovery Centre scheme is subservient to the landscape and embedded in it. The main structure is rammed earth and grows out of the land. The Puffing Billy heritage elements are then reinterpreted as the internal components of the Discovery Centre.
The Discovery Centre will be a new type of visitor experience where the steam-train journey continues through the building and celebrates a history of community, endeavour and relationship to Country.