australian studio m3architecture has completed the first stage of a cultural and tourism hub in queensland, australia, a project which saw the firm convert an iconic local pub into a information center, history room, commercial tenancy and art gallery. the pub, built in 1910, closed down some years ago and was purchased by the barcaldine regional council in 2011. the council’s vision was for a distinctive contemporary statement for the prominent corner site. the completed design aims to both realize this vision and celebrate the existing structure of the building. 

the pub has been converted into an information center, history room, commercial tenancy and art gallery
all images by christopher frederick jones



‘our design focuses on a series of new layered experiences’, explains m3architecture, who designed the building in association with brian hooper architect. ‘the project is a respectful, contemporary version of the single skin built form and allows the town to both retain, and build on, its history’. the original verandah, which ran the perimeter of the building was deemed structurally unsound and needed to be rebuilt, giving the studio the opportunity to examine contemporary forms of protection and layering for the existing single skin walls. 

the council’s vision was for a distinctive contemporary statement for the prominent corner site



‘the nature of single-skinned construction allows us to see and understand the layers of a building – the load bearing structure, the bracing, the cladding and the ornament’, the studio explains. the building opens up to reveal the extent of layering on all sides: the street, verandah and wall (its frame and ornament) and the interior room, wrapping verandah, screens, and finally, the landscape beyond. balustrades are expressed in cross braced timber frames, which mimic the structure and layering of the existing walls and reference the cross braced road train carriages that pass by. all of these elements layer over each other to protect the single-skinned walls.

the building opens up to reveal the extent of the layering on all sides



translucent twin-wall cladding, transparent polycarbonate linings, and powder coated SS screening all add new layers to the building. the result reframes the structure in bold abstracted gables, and elongated verandah forms. a weathered western-steel screen combines the pattern of the existing wall framing with the original verandah lattice screen and the ornament of the interior door lights. the screen, in the colour of the local soil, fluctuates between acting as a wall, a form of lattice and an experience of suspended landscape — appropriate for a single-skinned building in a town known as an outback oasis.  

the original veranda was deemed unsafe, giving the firm the opportunity to devise a contemporary alternative

cross braced timber frames reference the road train carriages that pass close by

wood paneling and a relaxed relationship with the exterior give the building a rustic yet contemporary feel

translucent cladding, transparent polycarbonate linings, and powder coated screening all add new layers to the building 



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: peter corboy | designboom

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