Winner of The Outdoor Timber – Stand-Alone Structures Award, 2011
Giidany Miirlarl is an important place for the Gumbaynggirr Nation at Muttonbird Island on the Coffs Coast, and the site for a new interpretive timber structure and education space. The structure incorporates an amphitheatre which is enveloped by a curved timber entry ramp giving access up onto the island, and a 3m high timber screen which provides a canvas for a large incised artwork.
Timber was chosen as the main structural material for its natural textural qualities, its ability to be worked and inscribed with the chosen artwork, and its robust character in this highly exposed marine location. The naturally weathering texture and tone of the timber allows the strong robust structure to sit sympathetically at the base of the island.
A variety of timber types and species were used to suit each element of the design. The main timber screen wall is locally harvested and naturally seasoned Bloodwood. The vertical timbers are rough sawn and left to intentionally grey off. The decking is comprised of dressed, all round mixed hardwood planks, cut to the required radial geometry, and sealed with Integrain Dimension 4 and DWD finish. Large recycled Ironbark bridge timbers were sourced locally by National Parks and Wildlife - the timbers were lightly dressed and treated to be suitable as seats, low edges and steps. These timber elements were also sealed with Integrain Dimension 4 and DWD finish. An old Ironbark timber bridge head stock was located as an intriguing sculptural seating element at the head of the entry path onto the island. The outdoor performance space has provided a dynamic public space that encourages an understanding of the cultural and environmental history of the site, and provides a place for social interaction, story telling, learning and rest.