Falls Creek Alpine Village
Currawong references memory in relation to the unfamiliarity that accompanies the first visit to a very different climate; that first ski holiday. The air is thinner, UV higher, flora unique, the cold, snow and ice snaps the body into a new consciousness; a place where even the road line markings are a different colour.
Visually, the building references the smooth and white to light grey or sometimes brown-red peeling bark colours of the Eucalyptus Pauciflora (Snow Gums) which sheds in strips to give a camouflaged appearance, deconstructing the forms of their trunks.
A solid Glenrowan Granite plinth bookends the south east corner and along with the striated cladding, the building contrasts against the white of winter, celebrating the season, while fitting in more comfortably with the bush tones of the warmer months, enabling beauty of the landscape to take front stage.
Utilising colour psychology, the bright yellow south facing entrances look to lift the spirits of the returning skier- wet and worn from a day on the snow.
Building materials have been carefully selected for this extreme climate, robust, hard wearing materials, high performance, thermally separated double glazed windows improving thermal efficiency while celebrating the village with a playful, new winter coat.
The original 3 storey late 1980s concrete block building was designed by Cox Architects, moral rights was addressed early on and we undertook the project with their green light starting in 2008.
We have to be frank, this project wasn’t easy. Eight years in planning, approvals, documentation and construction completed in 2 stages either side of the 2015 snow season, every aspect of the project has been scrutinised, mediating the differing requirements of 12+ owners, a broad range of authority entities including town planning, resort management, CFA and the DPCD, DEPI or DELWP or another acronym depending on which year we’re taking about.
When we remember holidays, we might recall moments, snippets, perhaps certain details, but not necessarily floor plans, electrical layouts; it is within this space that this project sits.
Project Team: Ben Statkus, Vern Chan, Minnie Statkus, William Golding, Nick Stathopoulos.
Photos: Ben Statkus