Oxley Creek Environment Centre

The Oxley Creek Environment Centre is a sustainable public building in stage one of a masterplan for 120 hectares of open land, 8 kilometres from the centre of Brisbane.

The role of the Centre is to provide a focus for community recreation, and nature conservation, learning and interpretation.

The Centre is a gateway to extensive walking trail, and to Oxley Creek via an accessible canoe pontoon.

The Centre serves school learning excursions, community meetings, festivals, and as a shady place for recreational visitors, and a gathering place for community gardeners.

It is also a centre for the dissemination of the unique local history including that of indigenous peoples’, agricultural use and DPI research, through landscape design, artwork, display areas, and site signage.

The building site was developed to cause minimal site disturbance. The structure is built from recycled ironbark timber for posts 200x200mm) and trusses and roof framing. Plantation pine plywood for cladding and linings, and materials with low embodied energy and safe manufacture methods, such as linoleum. The building also utilises dry composting toilets for public and staff amenities, and rainwater tanks are used for water collection and use onsite.

Passive ventilation is integrated with a narrow building width and suitable opening locations for the opportunity to open the interior to consistently prevalent breezes. Walls and roof of the enclosed areas are insulated.

The extensive roof form and exposed framing recalls the earlier farm buildings which occupied a nearby knoll.

Qualified variation is used to distinguish the character of this project as an essential urban amenity. These include emphasising the solid transverse truss framing at entry, and using colour to provide clarity between elements, timber insertions in the floor, and low height enclosing walls opening to grassed public gathering areas opposite the entry direction.

Low height perimeter walls with wide top plates provide welcoming resting places under the large roof.

Accessibility is achieved throughout with flush thresholds, suitably scaled openings, accessible toilets and amenities.

Lighting is powerful and significant. When viewed from the nearby arterial route at night, the lighting defines building as a landmark in the landscape, emphasising the roof form and structure.

Achieved in a very short time frame for a low budget through the collaborative efforts of the client, project team and experienced builder, the project stands as a successful outcome from the desires of the community seeking to ensure the continuity of open spaces. Such spaces contributing to the community’s sense of belonging to a place.

MULDER + KENNEDY ARCHITECTS0419 726 717[email protected]PO Box 1111 Surfers Paradise Qld 4217