McGregor Coxall have been appointed to participate in the first implementation phase of the Shipwreck coast Masterplan. The $9.8m project encompasses lookout facilities at the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard precincts, in addition to a pedestrian bridge over Port Campbell Creek. The design approach recognises the differing characters and demands of each site and adopts a range of conceptual techniques – either subsumed within the natural environment, treading lightly upon the landscape, or creating a bold counterpoint.
The project team, led by Denton Corker Marshall includes Landscape Architecture by McGregor Coxall and engineering services by Arup. McGregor Coxall offer an intimate knowledge of the site having led the delivery of the award winning masterplan, alongside Denton Corker Marshall. The commission follows a limited design competition process managed by the Office of Victorian Government Architect for Parks Victoria.
The Loch Ard Blowhole lookout will be discreetly nestled among the coastal vegetation on the very edge of the blowhole, discreetly hidden from the approaching paths to provide a surprising and thrilling experience.
The Port Campbell Creek pedestrian bridge will sit lightly above water and sand, minimising its visual and physical impact upon both the landscape and the town.
The Saddle lookout at the 12 Apostles, is distinctive and dramatic, perched on top of the cliffs, to fully experience the scale and drama of the magnificent landscape. Unashamedly angular and artificial, the lookout consists of two tilted ‘blocks’, one resting on the ground and the other cantilevering out over the cliffs, almost in defiance of nature.
The visitor journey extends through a series of shallow ramps within, over and around the lookout, maximising perimeter and providing varied viewpoints for crowds to enjoy views of the world-renowned coastline. The initial experience is unsettling, bringing visitors in on a high point and creating an unexpected shift by leaning the form over on its side.
As one descends, the view to the 12 Apostles is revealed and the visitor feels exposed on the edge of the world, before entering a partly enclosed all-weather environment with narrow slots, framing the panorama of ocean, cliffs and sky. The journey allows for layers of narrative, telling the diverse stories of the traditional owners.
McGregor Coxall director Christian Borchert said “We are delighted to continue working with Denton Corker Marshall on the design of Stage One of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan. The Landscape Architecture will play a key role in celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Shipwreck Coast and enhancing the overall visitor experience, preserving this pristine ecological habitat for generations to come.”
Images | Courtesy of McGregor Coxall