krakani lumi by Taylor and Hinds Architects with the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania
Small Project Architecture: The Nicholas Murcutt Award
Australian Institute of Architects
Standing camp krakani lumi (“place of rest”) is located in wukalina (Mount William National Park) in a remote north-eastern corner of Tasmania. A respectful collaboration between the palawa Aboriginal custodians and the architects has infused the project with cultural relevance and a technical precision emanating from the locale. This partnership enabled a setting that reveals Country as the beginning and the end.
The sequence of arrival is a three-part experience. The first part is a walk, either twenty kilometres from the lighthouse start to the south or five hundred metres from the nearest car access to the west, which exposes the visitor to the inherent power of the landscape. The second is a ritual setting defined by a firepit and requiring a traditional owner to acknowledge visitors and cleanse their spirits. Once this is performed, the charred timber pavilions open up, revealing warmth and an invitation to take shelter. The siting of the pavilions within a grove of Banksia marginata behind a sandy ridgeline ensures protection from the prevailing buffeting coastal winds and affords shelter in every sense of the word.
The pragmatic structural system delivers a series of carefully sited orthogonal forms, which in the main building house a lounging and speaking space set correctly beside the firepit and in the smaller sleeping pavilions provide a series of nooks for resting and dreaming. These internal vaulted spaces are lined with blackwood and infused with the scent of the local Melaleuca ericifolia (a flower that has traditionally been used to aid sleep), adding to the delight of the senses and the overwhelming exposure to a ritualized landscape.
The jury was convinced by the genuine partnership between custodians and architects, which resulted in a project that successfully synthesized cultural and technical requirements. The krakani lumi standing camp is a compelling example of excellence in architecture and respect.
For more coverage, read David Neustein’s project review from Architecture Australia Sept/Oct 2018.