Gatehouse goes to Venice Biennale

Article image - Gatehouse goes to Venice Biennale Triabunna Gatehouse a warm welcome for visitors

Glamorgan Spring Bay Council has teamed up with Gilby + Brewin Architecture to build the Triabunna Gatehouse on Tasmania’s east coast, the first built project of the Triabunna Tomorrow project.

The project is a reimagining of the township of Triabunna following the downturn of the forestry industry.

This unusual sculptural building is a visitor stop, exhibition space and amenities facility with the overall purpose of creating a welcoming, memorable and meaningful entry experience to the town.  

The building is unique in that the physical form, structure and materials reflect the local environment and cultural heritage.

The current indigenous bark canoe display echoes the unique gardens that focus on the native flora of the Tasmanian East Coast.

The various garden beds each have a theme such as ‘native grasslands’, ‘threatened species’, ‘bush food plants’ and ‘saltmarsh’.

The largest bed that fronts the garden is the saltmarsh bed, which provides a link to the nationally threatened ‘temperate coastal saltmarsh’ vegetation community of the nearby Maclaines Estuary.

Council is working closely with the local community group Friends Of Triabunna Reserves to develop interpretative signage about natural values starting at the Gatehouse and continuing around the township.

The Gatehouse’s architecture includes an inbuilt produce stall. The fruit, vegetables and herbs come from the local school’s MONA 24 Carrot Garden, an initiative that encourages children to grow food and eat healthily.

The Gatehouse has been shortlisted in the Tasmania Architecture Awards and, along with the gardens, is one of 15 projects showcased in the Australian Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale to represent the theme of Repair; a fitting tribute to a town in transition in a natural location worthy of celebration.