The Lakeside Discovery Centre has been designed, in collaboration with McGregor Coxall, around concepts of Gathering and Exchange. It is wonderful opportunity to provide a space where people come together to celebrate the railway; the local landscape; and the cultures, both old and new, that exist there.
The Puffing Billy Railway (PBR) is imbued with abundant and rich heritage elements ranging from small signal components to the impressive locomotives themselves. Traditionally, as with the PBR, the heritage buildings are located ‘on’ or ‘above’ the landscape. We see the Discovery Centre as an inverse relationship of this existing hierarchy. The new building will be subservient to the landscape and embedded within it. The main structure is rammed earth and grows out of the land. The heritage components of the PBR are then reinterpreted as the internal components of the Discovery Centre; creating a tangible sensory experience. The inner workings of some of the services will be made explicit and experienced in a similar way
The Lakeside Discovery Centre will be a new type of visitor experience where the journey on the train continues through the building and celebrates an enriched history of community, endeavour and relationship to country.