Interpretive and Cultural Centre
The Northcliffe Interpretive and Cultural Centre Building groups together a number of community facilities and public services and amenities. These facilities include a library, telecentre, visitor information centre, exhibition space and meeting space and toilets.
The site is in a prominent location in the town of Northcliffe South West Australia within walking distance of the main road and with an outlook over the Karri forest. The building incorporates environmentally sustainable design principles in keeping with the community´s pride in its environment.
The construction materials are predominately rammed earth walls, timber beams and bush pole supports. This is in keeping with local building techniques. These materials have a tactile presence and create an impression of permanence and belonging in this environment. Energy efficient technologies include passive solar principles such as high thermal mass, collection of solar radiation in the winter months and adequate shading in the summer months. Solar warm air collectors and a night- time cooling system.
These are simple active solar technologies that move heated or cooled air into the building to control internal temperature fluctuations.
The building is designed to have a low impact within the surrounding forest and exhibits familiar shapes and forms.
The entry is located with exposure to the main thoroughfare of the town and provides a sheltering threshold to the foyer with direct access to all functions of the building. From the foyer the spaces expand out onto the expansive timber deck. The main areas of the building relate to this deck providing extra sheltered spaces with views over the valley and Karri forest beyond.
It also has multi-purpose areas. The exhibition / meeting space and foyer area are suitable for mounting exhibitions and displays.
The open spaces of the visitors centre wing accommodate a semi-permanent D´Entrecasteaux National Park display mounted by the Conservation and Land Management department of WA. Visiting and local exhibitions can also be staged in the visitor centre.
The Understory Art Trail is accessible from the Visitors Information Centre. The starting and return point is from the timber decking via a boardwalk into the Karri forest.
The telecentre and library are co-located to allow for the sharing of staff and resources.
This is a compact building making efficient use of circulation space and designated areas appropriate to the requirements of each stakeholder.