Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Discovery Centre
148 Mountain View Road, Maleny
Cultural / Education
Guymer Bailey with Norman Richards Building Design + Interiors
The Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Rainforest Discovery Centre nestles on the edge of the Reserve’s subtropical rainforest and overlooks exceptional Glasshouse Mountain views. In the Rainforest Discovery Centre visitors can learn about the Reserve’s remnant rainforest in its living museum of diverse flora and fauna, and even various endangered species, reinforcing its role as a regionally significant centre for conservation, education and partnerships.
The architecture is designed to accentuate the site. It provides opportunities for visitors to experience the contrast of the wider views of the mountains to the south, and the more intimate connection to the rainforest to the north and west. It achieves this by framing views and blurring the edge between internal and external spaces.
Sustainability guided all aspects of the design, with the majority of the building naturally ventilated and naturally lit, capturing all its own water, treating waste water on site, and only plant species endemic to the area were used for additional landscaping. Locally sourced basalt and natural materials which will weather with time clad the building. The building strives to connect visitors to their natural environment, to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of it, and encourage us all to live more sustainably.