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Newcastle Visitor Information Centre

Award for Heritage Architecture

Newcastle, NSW

The Civic Station building was constructed in its position aside the Great Northern Railway in 1937, with heavy rail movements passing through the site until closure in 2014. In 2018, an adaptive re-use project was established to convert the building to the city of Newcastle Visitor Information Centre. The building needed to promote not only the heritage nature of the former station, but showcase natural and built features of the entire city for visiting tourists.
The confines of the space encouraged ingenuity with materials, form and storage. Custom joinery was designed to maximise storage and space, whilst original heritage joinery was celebrated in-situ. Smart TV’s and augmented reality technology are used to give the visitor a deeper connection to the space, with a traditional Awabakal language welcome beside the campfire available to guests as they enter the space.

A key feature of the tourist marketing within the space is the large scale in-situ floor mapping, setting out the Newcastle peninsular and key areas of interest for visitors. To immerse the visitor in the context of the landscape, the topography of the map flooring is reflected on the ceiling above in a custom light feature, accentuating the height and length of the space and allowing light and form to define the connection between the built and natural environment.