Walmajarri Community Centre, Australian Building, Djugerari Project, Photo, Design, Property, Image
Community Centre Development Australia
Djugerari Walmajarri Project, Great Sandy Desert – design by Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects
2 Sep 2009
Walmajarri Community Centre
Location: Djugerari Community, Great Sandy Desert, via Fitzroy Crossing
Design: Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects
Building in the Great Sandy Desert
The Firm was selected by the community to design an office, training centre and staff house for Walmajarri Inc., an Aboriginal Corporation representing a group of Walmajarri people whose country is located in the Great Sandy Desert.
The buildings were required to have a level of ESD considerations that would be appropriate for a remote aboriginal community.
The brief called for a building that would be used as an office, meeting place and separate womens’ and mens’ training areas. The types of learning scenarios would cover practical home-maker and adult education topics, as well as culturally specific learning including language and law teaching.
The buildings consist of separate pavilions below a parasol roof, with specific outdoor spaces that economically extend the interior spaces.
Relationship of the project to its site and context.
Djugerari community sits on the side of the Shore Range and over-looks a valley filled with flat top mesas and pyramid hills.
The different wings of the building and outdoor covered areas frame specific views south into this valley and Walmajarri country.
Djugerari is a 2 hour drive south of Fitzroy Crossing and is the point that many of the Walmajarri elders left their country and moved onto the station country in the 1940’s.
Architectural Expression of the Concept
The building is a simple cluster of pavilions that initially appear informally placed, however as one moves between the pavilions specific views are framed and the dramatic landscape is revealed.
This building is a device that frames, conceals and reveals the landscape.
It is extremely expensive to build in these remote locations. To this end the detailing of the construction systems were simple, the range of materials was kept to a minimum and were carefully selected to minimise ongoing maintenance costs. A simple portal frame construction is used to create the parasol roofs, while the pavilions are from conventional steel stud-framing clad with corrugated steel and fiber cement sheet.
The community has a good water supply taken from an artesian bore. Water collection was ruled out as there is a reliable water supply and the practicalities of maintaining a collection and distribution system are currently beyond the communities resources.
All light fittings are low energy type, the hot water systems are jacketed solar with a single “Hot-shot” booster switch which shuts off automatically once the water has been heated. The exhaust fans and electric stoves are connected to run-down timers that shut off automatically after 1.5hrs and then need to be re-activated.
The internal spaces are air-conditioned with reverse-cycle inverter type split air conditioners, connected to 6 hour run down timers.
The parasol roofs reduce the heat load on the building to just ambient air temperature, and the Mechanical Engineer for the project has calculated that this will save approximately $1,800 per annum in diesel costs for the community.
The buildings are of a parasol roof construction with well insulated building units below the roofs. These parasol roof stop any the direct heat gain to the units so their head load is simply the maximum air temperature or air infiltration through open doors.
All rooms are designed for good cross ventilation via 2 windows where possible and ceiling fans are installed to all rooms.
Well sealed doors and windows have been installed to minimise air leakage and infiltration.
Walmajarri Community Centre Australia images / information from Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects
Walmajarri Community Centre Building design : Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects
To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.
Another desert building by Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects (in Great Victoria Desert):
Tjuntjuntjara Community Housing, Western Australia
When Australia was colonized in 1788 there were some 700 individual Aboriginal Nations speaking some 250 individual languages. Today there are less than 150 languages still spoken and all but 20 of these are regarded as endangered. The Spinifex people speak a south western dialect of the Pitjantjatjara language.
The Spinifex people are a nation of Indigenous Australians who have survived colonisation and government neglect over the past 70 years.
Comments / photos for the Walmajarri Community Centre Australia page welcome
Walmajarri Community Centre Building