Completed: 2016 / Builder: Smith Constructions / Photographer: Nic Duncan
Situated next to the Kwoorabup Belia (Denmark River) and a corroboree ground, the Denmark Riverside Club was built in close proximity to an important cultural place for the Noongar, the traditional owners of the land. Noongar elders describe running rivers as ‘the blood of our ancestors’, so it was important to reflect and respect the river’s flow in every aspect of the building’s design, form and materials. The walls kink and turn and the roof cascades over itself, supported by a flowing series of columns. Seating for the bowling greens trickles down to the ground and suspended acoustic panels sweep across the ceiling.
The Riverside Club is an important community facility, housing four local sporting clubs. Flexible partitioned spaces can be combined to form a 200-seat function centre with commercial bar, kitchen and audio-visual facilities, helping the sporting clubs to be economically self-sufficient.
Positioned next to Denmark’s main vehicle bridge, the building was set low in the ground so as to reduce the visual impact as cars entered the town. Viewable from the river and town centre, the western, northern and southern elevations feature extensive glazing, timber cladding and cascading roofing and columns to emphasise its place in the surrounding landscape. In addition, the project features many energy efficiency elements, including high-performance glazing and provision for a future solar energy system.
The project obtained local, state and federal funding and was delivered on time and on budget. It is currently being used as a case study by the Regional Australia Institute demonstrating the successful implementation of social infrastructure.