Northern Goldfields Regional Office, Leonora, WA

Winner of the Excellence in Timber Design – Landscape category in the Australian Timber Design Awards 2017

The Northern Goldfields Regional Office and Admin Building houses the Department of Child Protection, the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission, doctors and health workers, public internet facilities, and art gallery and function/meeting rooms. Temperatures in summer can be extreme, and neither the landscape, with its sparse vegetation, nor the traditional built environment offer much by way of respite, comfort or pleasure.

The screened and landscaped courtyard garden provides shelter from the sun and a welcome cool refuge both from the outback and the road trains on the street outside. The enclosed ‘lattice’ courtyard provides a private and secure area for relaxation and contemplation, while the timber sun screening and cool misting system provide protection from the radiant and ambient heat.

Evergreen exotic species have been planted to soften the solid look of the courtyard, which incorporates a breezeway with a timber decking, framing and perforated lattice. The project has highlighted the biophilic connection that timber provides, in combination with ample natural light and natural surroundings.

Design: Donovan Payne Architect

Photography: Kim Donovan