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Westport Cultural Hub – Coaltown Museum

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Client: Buller District Council
Designer: Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architects
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Contract Period: 8 months
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Westport Cultural Hub

Construction of Coaltown Museum involved the remodel and relocation of this iconic museum into a central site as a civic hub on Palmerston Street (Main Street) Westport.  The intention of the remodel and relocation was to improve the level of information and services provided to visitors.

Other civic facilities included within the Coaltown precinct are: library, i-site visitor centre, gallery, toilets, café – and a community meeting and function room.

Many environmentally sustainable principles were evaluated in the early design stages to ensure a more considered building was established on the site – and furthermore to achieve low operating and on-going life-cycle management costs. The result is an engaging building that is practical, memorable and environmentally considered.

Consideration was also given to improving traffic design and car-parking/drop-off zones for the complex in order to allow this building to seamlessly merge into its wider townscape environment.

The exterior façade, under a soaring canopy, is a transparent veil of timber and glass and provides intriguing glimpses into the dynamic pavilion within – an invitation for patrons to explore and engage.  By night this veil then becomes a glowing display, illuminated with strategic lighting that not only showcases the Centre but pays homage to the historic and significant adjacent buildings.

A key component of the interior design solution was that enough space was provided to accommodate large amounts of visitors, with the flexibility to easily and seamlessly manage seasonal fluctuations.  New interactive displays work hand in hand with more traditional informative components, allowing the visitor to tailor their particular information requirements, whilst allowing staff to provide enhanced levels of service and information on a one-to-one basis when required.

This project realises a vital piece of urban fabric for Westport and is quickly establishing itself as an iconic showpiece on a high profile site.  Set to become a destination for both the wider Buller community and tourist visitors to the district, Coaltown will enable Westport to communicate the richness of its local events, activities and many attractions.

Coman Construction completed this contract on time and on budget meeting all the requirements to the complete satisfaction of both Architect and Client.