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The iconic Puffing Billy Railway is a much-loved tourist attraction located within the Dandenong Ranges, 40 kilometres east of Melbourne. Emerald Lake Park is a scenic destination for many, centrally located on the railway.

The importance of this stop on the railway was recognised with the decision to build a new Discovery Centre consisting of a café, commercial kitchen, visitor information services, interpretations, function rooms, staff offices, retail, educational facilities and amenities. The project brings together train enthusiasts and local park goers, creating a unique tourism amenity offering which collects the many users of the site in a single but complex building.

The complex brief resulted in a building larger than would have historically been located on the railway line. The decision was made to design a new spatial experience and a unique geometry that is distinct from the old train stations, but one that depended on the relationship between visitors and the train platform for its organisational logic.

Architects: TERROIR
Project Leader: Emily Slevin
Project Team: Paul Sayers, Michael Carlotto, Jack Andrews, Kate Hyland, Matt Flack
Photographs: Peter Bennetts


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