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   -   Civic Design - Commendation

Welcome Mat
by Lacoste + Stevenson Architects



Mt Penang Gardens is a new public garden on the Central Coast, 1 hour north of Sydney. The collection of entrance buildings is placed on a red bitumen "Welcome Mat", seemly at random. The 3 buildings form the entrance to the garden via the bridge that springs from behind the narrowing between the shop and the café. On approach, the buildings are striking and vibrant; printed vinyl super-graphics foreshadow the garden beyond as well as serving as signage and announcing events. The other public face is a planted wall of flowering creepers. The buildings are envisaged as landscape elements and have been kept bare of domestic detail to

simplify their reading. Cladding is taken to the edges of each facade so that they are seen as single planes. From the garden, the buildings have a recessive and naturalistic appearance: the timber slats and mirrored facades sit as part of the landscape. The mirrored facades dematerialise the building in reflections of the garden, cascades and sky. Functionally, the 3 buildings house: the café in the largest pavilion overlooking the cascades, the shop and ticketing in the middle pavilion and the WCs in the smallest one. While modest in scale, the buildings combine to create a sense of arrival before the main attraction of the garden.

Kariong, NSW
Lacoste + Stevenson Architects
Contact address:
Project Team
Project architect: mr david stevenson, lacoste + stevenson architects
Design architect: mr thierry lacoste, lacoste + stevenson architects
Landscape consultant: mr anton james, anton james design
Other Team Members : beth hughes

Photographs by Lacoste + Stevenson Architects, text by Lacoste + Stevenson Architects

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects