Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Echuca's award-winning discovery centre

The Port of Echuca Discovery Centre has won an architectural award for its unique design.

June 23, 2014 3:44am

Port of Echuca Discovery Centre by JAWSARCHITECTS. Photo by Brett Boardman.

The Port of Echuca Discovery Centre has captured the eye of design experts, with the architects picking up a major award at the Australian Institute of Architects 2014 Victorian Architecture Awards.

The awards were announced on Friday in Melbourne.

The $5 million centre, designed by JawsArchitects, opened in December, stood out from regional and metropolitan projects to win an award in the Public Architecture (new) category.

Judges commented that the centre ‘‘exceeds its functional and operational challenges with intelligence and clarity’’.

‘‘It is a project that provides freshness and design quality without breaking with the scale and ambience of the historic Murray Esplanade,’’ the judges said.

Echuca-Moama Tourism chief executive Tom Smith said the win was fantastic recognition for the architects.

‘‘It’s nice to get recognition for a great addition to the tourism precinct,’’ Mr Smith said.

‘‘Given what was there, it’s a sparkling new building that will blend in beautifully.’’

Campaspe Shire mayor Ian Maddison praised the award and said the design of the building reflected the heritage of the area.

‘‘A lot of fears about the building being less than appropriate have been allayed. It is a success in the eyes of anyone we speak to,’’ he said.

Cr Paul Jarman said the centre’s visitor numbers were tracking well.

‘‘It’s still only the first six months — we’re looking forward to the long-term rise in numbers continuing,’’ he said.

When the building opened, it was hoped that 60,000 people would pass though the centre in its first year of operation.

Mr Jarman said for a building which had attracted a lot of commentary and attention, it was nice to hear an independent person say it was award-worthy.

JawsArchitects progress to the national awards to be announced on November 6 in Darwin.

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