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The rich layers of Rottnest history are most concentrated within the vicinity of the main settlement area. In present-day Rottnest, colonial history is very much significant to this area, evident through the preserved fabric of the limestone buildings that speaks of its time. As a means of building upon the existing place narrative of colonial settlement history, the Rottnest Island Museum Extension seeks to further the potential of the current museum building as a heritage edifice. In the proposal, the journey through history is revitalised with contemporary elements and spatial experiences that strike a balance between the old and new. The design takes consideration of the adaptive characteristics of the original building, through the harmony of materiality and spatial configuration.

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Pinky’s Beach is the site for the maritime center, an area that is already activated through the provision of accommodation and recreational facilities. Thus, the proposal adds on to the heavily recreational focused area by adding an educational element. Furthermore, the site also offers a direct connection to the ocean and views of the Bathurst Lighthouse enhancing the project’s connection to its marine theme. As Rottnest Island has a rich maritime history and marine biodiversity, the project acts as a platform to engage and educate visitors about these elements. Learning is emphasised through practical hands-on learning experiences and builds upon the current school-based programs offered on the island. The Maritime Centre is focused building upon the maritime history and promoting the importance of the marine ecology of the island.


Rottnest Island, Wadjemup, is a place that is significant in aboriginal culture, being the “Place across the water where the spirits are”. The West End is also known as “Kooranup”, located at the end of the island is a place where aboriginal spirits rest and this place is often described as ‘heaven’ within their cultural beliefs. The selection of the West End as the proposed site is due to the RIA’s desire to get people to explore different parts of the island. The only acknowledgement of the Kooranup Narrative on the West End is an audio box and due to the lack of utilization and practicality of the existing structures on the West End, people don’t stay long enough to experience the beauty and narratives of the West End to its fullest potential. As a means of building upon the existing place narrative of Rottnest Island’s aboriginal history, the Kooranup Cultural Hub aims To activate the West End in terms of encouraging people to stay longer and allowing them to appreciate the Aboriginal Cultural significance and the natural features of the West End.

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