One of Victoria’s most popular tourism experiences, the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island, recently opened a new and exciting visitor centre featuring a spectacular architectural design.
The award-wining star-shaped facility replaces the existing centre built more than 30 years ago. Wood & Grieve Engineers now part of Stantec (WGE) were key in enabling the architectural vision for the new facility by facilitating the design and collaborating with architects and builders in order to meet the client’s vision in producing a first-class building structure.
Penguin Parade Visitor Centre’s spectacular design has been acknowledged internationally, having recently won the 2019 International Architecture Awards out of a field of submissions of over 40 countries.
The Visitor Centre features an open-plan design with high geometric timber panelled ceilings, a sleek concrete and timber fit-out, and expansive windows looking onto the penguin habitat.
The $58 million project provides infrastructure to achieve greater visitor experience and the ability to cater for an additional 100,000 expected visitors each year. Located between dunes, wetlands and the headlands on the Summerland Peninsula, the modern and environmentally sustainable Penguin Parade Visitor Centre offers fun and interactive activities for the whole family. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of facilities including an interpretive habitat space which provides a ‘penguins-eye’ of the world. The Centre also boasts a state-of-the-art theatre, dedicated education wing, a range of dining and retail options and a gift shop.
Australia’s largest colony of little Penguins will also benefit from the development with the restoration of more than six hectares of penguin habitat on the site of the old visitor centre grounds.
In order to incorporate the most economical and sustainable design for our client and longevity of the facility, Penguin Parade Visitor Centre features energy efficient lighting and building fabric, reverse cycle air-cooled chillers for air conditioning, and is powered by solar energy. The a 200kWp solar PV system, located on the roof of the facility, provides energy to the building and has the potential of offsetting 35 per cent of the predicted annual electricity demand of the building, explains WGE’s Electrical Project Engineer and Principal, Vinh Le.
“It has been a pleasure being involved in this community project – helping to create a world-class Visitor Centre which provides wonderful experiences for thousands of people who travel from all over the world to see this iconic facility,” says Vinh.