Parks Victoria will host a number of community consultation sessions in May on improvements to tourist infrastructure at one of Victoria’s most-visited sites – the Shipwreck Coast, along the Great Ocean Road.
The sessions will speak to the design development of three projects, all designed by Denton Corker Marshall in collaboration with McGregor Coxall and Arup: a lookout at the Twelve Apostles, another at Loch Ard Gorge and a pedestrian bridge in Port Campbell. Representatives from both Parks Victoria and Denton Corker Marshall will make presentations at the sessions.
Neil Bourne, Denton Corker Marshall director, said, “We believe our designs respond to the unique character and physical attributes of each site. The new facilities will enhance the visitor journey with diverse experiences that are both dramatic and contemplative.”
The proposed lookout at the Saddle overlooking the Twelve Apostles will be an “unashamedly angular and artificial” building perched on the clifftop. It will consist of two tilted, rectilinear blocks, one of which lies on the ground with the slope of the land while the other tilts in the opposite direction and cantilevers over the cliff edge.
At the Lord Ard Gorge blowhole, the proposed lookout will be a sinuous form embedded into the coastal vegetation, hidden from walking paths. It will appear as if it were “subsumed within the natural environment” and provide a “surprising and thrilling experience,” said Denton Corker Marshall in a statement.
The designs have been informed by the sites’ Traditional Owners, the Eastern Maar Peoples, with an Indigenous history in the area dating back roughly 80,000 years.
Jamie Lowe, Chief Executive Office, Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation said, “The Eastern Maar People are excited by this opportunity to assist with the design and implementation of this development at such an iconic landscape, which has been significant to our people for tens of thousands of years.”
The Victorian government has allocated $9.8 million for the completion of the project, which is due to be completed by 2022.
Denton Corker Marshall’s final designs are due in mid-2018 and tenders for construction will be open in early 2019.
The projects are part of a 20-year masterplan for a 28-kilometre stretch of the Great Ocean Road coastline, prepared by McGregor Coxall in association with Denton Corker Marshall.
The first community consultation session will take place at the Port Campbell Life Saving Club on 17 May, with the second happening at the Port Campbell Art Space on 19 May.