“The East Gippsland Shire commissioned Slap Architects to create a new amenities building that would be interesting, architecturally significant as well as functional and safe.”
Slap Architects were commissioned to design the Bairnsdale public amenities building in Main Street. The new building and surrounds are part of the Main Street Gardens master plan that includes extending the central gardens by removing cross roads (these works has already been completed), providing a central pedestrian pathway new seating and gardens. The East Gippsland Shire’s Master Plan can be seen here.
The proposed development is designed around the concept of it being a Gateway to the East and a resting place. These references are symbolic of where Bairnsdale is located geographically and what a travelling family/person might need when passing through.
Sitting the individual unisex amenities building on the south side of the green corridor allowed the better use of north facing light and warmth in the plaza area for multi use activities. This both ensures an activated space for better safety as well as enhancing the city with additional usable space.
The buildings form takes it’s inspiration from the traditional structures of the region such as the racks that can be seen in the local townships and that were used in the past for drying the hops. The materials of the amenities building reflects the agricultural heritage of East Gippsland, with the grey timber and corrugated iron and exposed structure to add visual detail and to allow post industrial waste timber to be utilised. The timber is a by product of supplying power pole cross bars and is sourced from Montana Timber in Nowa Nowa. Underlying this traditional structure is a contemporary building utilising modern materials and using a bright colour palette that makes it easily identifiable to the passing traffic and a landmark for the new Main Street Gardens Development.
The second part of the development is to be a pedestrian link between the North and South sides of Main Street, which will serve a direct purpose in indicating the location for safe passage across the street, while offering some protection from the elements if waiting for the lights. Its form represents a ‘gate’ and uses the same architectural language as the amenities building. You can see the proposed structure in our post here.