Graphic visualising the atmosphere of the Function space and vegetable garden.

Socialising Heritage is a project which facilitates community-led activities, focused on conserving the heritage of refugees, asylum seekers, and Traditional Owners’ of the land. The Function Space, Pavilion and Heritage Rain Garden, are designed to encourage social interaction as a way of engaging with the intangible practices of unrecognised cultures. The design exists as an inversion of a typical museum, refraining from using tangible objects, and instead engaging its users with the transmission of knowledge and culture through intangible means.

Floorplan detailing the main structures as they surround the undrained river.

The Centre activates the rights of temporary or displaced people to host community events in their new environment without feeling obliged to withdraw from their culture, thus allowing intangible heritage to persist through the sharing of cultural knowledge. The designed spaces can be depicted as straddling the newly uncovered Coburg storm water drain, and connected together by timber boardwalks. The Pavilion, which facilitates performances and cultural rituals, has been designed in a circular form to encourage community participation and active learning. The Function space is designed as an adaptable and engaging learning environment, able to adjust for different community needs.

Site Section cut across the Function Space and Performance Pavilion.

The overall concept of the project is also strongly grounded in water-sensitive design, where the filtration of storm water through natural swale gutters is considered. These gutters that surround both the pavilion and function space become tributaries which lead naturally filtered water to the Merri Creek. The design of the tributary was based on an analysis of contours and historical mapping, strategically placed to reduce seasonal flooding which especially occurs as a result of water runoff from the adjacent car park.
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