Eden Welcome Center wins the architecture prize

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Eden Welcome Center by Cox Architecture has received the prestigious Blacket Award from the NSW Australian Institute of Architects.

It also received a commendation in the Sustainable Architecture category.

And if that wasn’t enough, it’s been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival in Lisbon, Portugal!

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The concept of the Eden Welcome Center is a celebration of the city’s main industries of fishing, forestry and tourism and stands as a symbol of an optimistic maritime future for the city.

The structure and cladding of the building are made from Australian hardwoods as a tribute to the local timber industry.

The hardwoods feature artwork, stories and heritage interpretation, a tribute to Eden’s maritime and Indigenous history, wildlife and key industries of the region.

The form of the building references the sturdy quayside buildings of the sea fishing industry emblematic of Eden’s traditional vernacular architecture.

The building’s function welcomes visitors to the city from the expanding cruise industry as well as travelers visiting Snug Cove after passing through downtown via the Market Conservatory.

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The contractor traveled the country to recycle the wood for the structure and the cladding.

All timber used was from demolished heritage buildings and redundant dock structures – and the main timber columns and beams are over 100 years old and in their third life of construction with their years of experience celebrated. They have all been carefully crafted with traditional hand-building techniques in their new and final home as a celebration of craftsmanship, heritage and sustainability.

The building design uses a modular system to allow for easy construction and future growth in expanding developments along the waterfront to redevelop Snug Cove. This plan form is a two-storey linear rectangular building parallel to the waterfront.

Adjacent to the waterfront is a high skillion roof that creates a veranda above the markets to celebrate the activity, forming a sheltered space that shades and cools the occupants through passive ventilation. The roof hosts photovoltaic panels to take advantage of the north orientation while housing windows to illuminate to the depth of the market and views from the first floor.

On the ground floor next to the veranda is the Eden Tourist Information Center opening onto the market space which on cruise days is packed with market stalls, tourists and sometimes of live music.

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The Eden Visitor Information Center was recently named a finalist in the prestigious NSW Tourism Awards.

A new tourism operation in Tathra is also a finalist in the NSW Tourism Awards.

Published author Jess Taunton’s ecotourism business, Navigate Expeditions, has been nominated in the New Tourism Business category.

Images: Eden Visitor Centre, Cox Architecture, John Gollings

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