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Penguin Plus 2016 AILA VIC Awards Winner_____

Penguin Plus Viewing Area - 2016 AILA VIC Awards - Tract Consultants

Penguin Plus 2016 AILA VIC Awards Winner

The recently opened Penguin Plus Viewing Area on Phillip Island, designed by Tract in collaboration with Wood Marsh Architects, has been awarded the 2016 AILA VIC Awards of Excellence in Tourism.

The project responded to the unique ecological, scenic and cultural values of this fragile coastal landscape, whilst curating the nature-based experience for the large visitor volume. Congratulations on the entire consultant team and the Phillip Island Nature Parks on this outstanding result.
Judges Comments

Penguin Plus Viewing Area

Tract prepared a Master Plan for Phillip Island Nature Parks in 2012. Their findings identified problems with the extant visitor infrastructure for Penguin Plus - developed in the late 1980s, and visitor experience was suffering as a result of overcrowding. Visitor numbers per night in peak season can reach 3000+ and it is anticipated that the annual visitation will be up to 500,000 by 2020. Some of the built structures are over penguin habitat.

This entry was the first in a series of proposed built projects arising from the recommendations of the Plan and saw the replacement of the most eastern boardwalk and viewing platform and the provision of a new underground viewing facility where visitors can observe penguins at ground level.

The project aimed to be more site sensitive, where ‘ the visitor experience is dominated by the quality of the environment’. The strongly curved walkway and stepped viewing area allows the structure to sit more sympathetically within the landscape, allows more visitor movement and options for viewing, and higher capacity whilst lessening the impact of visitors on the penguins with an improved lighting system.

The work is well-detailed and robust, providing a useable prototype for proceeding to redevelop other parts of the site into the future.
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