Architect appointed for Aboriginal and Cultural Centre

Award-winning Fremantle-based Officer Woods Architects has been appointed to complete the final design of the City of Cockburn’s proposed $6.5 million Aboriginal Cultural and Visitors Centre.

Planned for completion by late 2022, the centre will be constructed on the western side of Bibra Lake, or Walliabup, on Whadjuk Nyungar Boodja (Country).

City of Cockburn Project Development Manager Sarah Robinson said she hoped to release some updated sketches of the proposed centre in the new year once the architect had a chance to review the project brief, the approved concept, and site of the proposed centre.

Ms Robinson said Officer Woods would collaborate with Aboriginal Elders, Traditional Owners and Aboriginal community members to produce the final design for the site at Progress Drive, near Bibra Lake Regional Playground.

The centre’s key design themes include the Southwestern snake-necked turtle that lives in Walliabup, a curved design, fire, water and the integration of nature to ‘bring the outside in’.

“The location of the building connects strongly with the lake and its surrounding bushland,” Ms Robinson said.

City of Cockburn Executive Manager Strategy & Civic Support Gail Bowman said the area around Walliabup was as significant to the Nyungar people as Kings Park.

“Evidence of a 55,000-year-old Aboriginal site in the area, is just one element of its cultural, environmental and heritage value,” Ms Bowman said.

The Centre will promote and strengthen the area’s rich Nyungar history and living culture through stories, music, dance, language and art. It will include cultural education and meeting spaces, art and performance spaces, a visitors information centre and a cafĂ©.

Officer Woods Architects won the 2017 National Architecture Awards Jury Prize for its design on the East Pilbara Arts Centre, built in Newman in 2016.

For more information on the project, visit the City’s website.

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City of Cockburn
Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

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Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaditj boodjar kep wer kaadidjiny kalyakool yoodaniny, wer koora wer yeyi ngalak Birdiya koota-djinanginy.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.