Darwin Entertainment Centre Forecourt, Darwin, NT, 2007
AIA (NT) Urban Design Award, 2008
AIA (NT) Public Architecture Award, 2008
Yilli Rreung ‘Gathering Place’ in the local Larrakia tongue is an urban intervention in the forecourt spaces of Darwin Entertainment Centre. Beyond is also the Holiday Inn hotel and conference centre. "The Centre’s 1980s public spaces were not developed to support public outdoor activity, couldn’t merge with the dark glass cage of the air-conditioned interior, and were separated from passersby by rather suburban planting. And its material quality was - well - paint. We’ve set about to change that through deploying local materials, natural finishes, grand verandahs, dynamic shade structures, and a weird animal of a portal that reaches out to the city". Broad decks, one known as The Raft, offer venues for performance, exhibitions, markets, as well as meeting places. Materials are earthy, rich and warm and friendly.
Weavers from Maningrida in Aboriginal Arnhem Land were commissioned to create a great woven ceiling. The same techniques as used in weaving forest vines into baskets have been used in weaving recycled copper wire and pipe into this visually shifting and dancing piece.
Our mate David Lancashire organised the lighting and signage and graphic patterns in glass. It has just been opened and we hope that the people of Darwin come to use it well, including in ways we haven’t begun to envisage.