The 2021 Architizer A+ Awards is in its ninth year and attracted international entries from over 100 countries, with over 5,000 entries received. On the 7th July 2021 it was announced that Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre had been chosen by the jury as the winner in two categories:
› Cultural > Cultural & Expo Centres
› Transportation > Transportation Infrastructure
The Cumulus team is so proud that this project has been recognized on an international level, against some other incredible projects.
The Architizer editors talk about this year’s entries, “Architizer’s A+ Awards has attracted breathtaking creative and technical talent from around the globe, with thousands of projects being submitted for consideration. After rigorous and highly democratic judging process, the top accolades for the world’s largest and most international awards program for architecture have been decided.”
Notable jurors included Professor Lesley Lokko (Founder & Director, African Futures Institute), Tom Kundig FAIA, RIBA (Principal/Owner, Olson I Kundig), Celine Semaan (Founder & Executive Director, Slow Factory Foundation), Aric Chen (M+ Museum, Design Miami), Fernanda Canales (Founder & Director, Fernanda Canales Arquitectura) plus many more.
Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre is on the land of the Big River Nation people and we recognize them as the Traditional Owners. Cradle Mountain is a project that the Cumulus team has been involved in since 2016 when the master plan for the precinct was created, construction on stage one of the project was completed in 2020 which included the visitor centre and shelters.
Cumulus Director Peter Walker talks about the process involved in this project, “As a studio, we are really proud of what has been accomplished at Cradle Mountain. A huge amount of effort has gone into the Gateway Project which was developed over six years ago through design from the initial master plan through the construction to the opening in 2020 during Covid restrictions. We feel that the project is highly significant to the state’s visitor economy and accentuates one of Tasmania’s most significant natural tourism destinations”.
By being recognized by the Architizer jury among architectural leaders from around the world Peter discusses how it has reinforced the passion the Cumulus team have for this project, “we are pleased that our dedication to honoring the significance and sensitivity of this world-renowned national park has been recognized and that the jury could see the design reflecting the distinctive Cradle Mountain geology with its raw exterior unwinding into a warm, soft, delicate timber lining.”
Thinking back to the conceptual approach the Cumulus team explained that the inspiration came from the endemic snow gums (eucalyptus coccifera) whose draped canopy creates an interstitial space that provides protection to underlying flora and wildlife, similarly, the visitor centre is split into core and canopy. Peter elaborates, “The canopy was conceived as a protective veil that shelters the user while enabling a raw authentic experience of the alpine setting.”
Peter explains that this project is the result of many minds working together, “We are so thankful to all of the people who made the project the success that it is … from the multidisciplinary design team who worked collaboratively on this unique design solution throughout the project, to Fairbrother builders on delivery a beautifully crafted building despite sometimes testing weather conditions. In particular we are also thankful to all of the team at Tasmania Parks and Wildlife, our client for their support and trust in us.”
The Cumulus team worked with a large number of consultants on the Cradle Mountain project, with key collaborators being:
Architect Cumulus Studio
Client Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Services
Landscape Architects Playstreet
Quantity Surveyor WT Partnership
Construction Fairbrother Construction
The Cumulus team would like to thank all team members, consultants, collaborators, and our supportive clients for being a part of this process. This recognition is a result of everyone coming together to create a unique and unexpected project that delivers an engaging visitor experience.