Burnie Makers' Workshop

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Burnie Makers’ Workshop represents a major investment in the future of a town on the north-west coast of Tasmania coming to terms with its post-industrial reality. Until recent times, the town has been known primarily for its key large-scale industries and the servicing of these via the port area. The largest of these industrial plants is the pulp and paper mill on the waterfront. Over recent years, a local initiative, Creative Paper, has value added to the base level industrial paper production with high quality products. In addition, the role of the town as a gateway to the fertile farming lands of Tasmania has not been forgotten. This twin focus – traditional and creative industries – provided the basis for the project. TERROIR transformed the brief for a visitor centre into a living room for the town built around these two functions, providing both cultural and tourist amenities. The building is understood as part of the collection of industrial objects along the coast, re-imagined as giant ‘toys’ (Schaik, Timms). Our ‘toy’ is a lighthouse of sorts, perched on the western headland above the beach, a sentinel both for passing ships and for the locals whom we hope will make this the living room of the city. Five key functions each occupy an arm of the building with the central space providing access and general orientation. The radiating arms generate a series of spaces of different orientations and enclosure to be used all year round.
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