Reflecting the culture of the road, the landscape and contemporary architecture
This project was won through an invited architectural competition undertaken by VicRoads, who are responsible for managing the Victoria road network in Australia. The brief called to elevate a historically rudimentary building type (the toilet block) to a piece of architecture that delighted and engaged.
The facility was to be made up of a collection of urban elements including a relocated memorial, a new picnic structure and carport and toilet facility. The project was constructed by the civil contractors completing the Highway upgrade adjacent to the site. While skilled in their particular field (road construction) their experience with buildings was limited. As a result, a conscious effort was made throughout the design process to utilise standard road building construction techniques.
This project reflects on the culture of the road, the landscape and contemporary Architecture. There is a long and rich history of the rest stop amenity within Australia. The familiar image of the large floating roof providing shelter to the amenities of the service provider is a strong memory for all who have undertaken a road trip. It performs a vital role in the rest and re-supply needs of the traveller. These places mark a point in a journey, a place for pausing, and a place for reflection. The roof serves as both shelter and icon, signalling to the passerby while serving the practical function of sheltering the amenities below.
BKK Architects project celebrates this imagery.