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Tourist architecture for Tasmania's landscape : architects' responses to the natural landscape


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Hamilton, Nina Rose 2006 , 'Tourist architecture for Tasmania's landscape : architects' responses to the natural landscape', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Tourism in Tasmania has increased rapidly over the past five years, with visitor numbers
swelling by 73% between 1998 and 2004. Tourism is vital to Tasmania's economic and
social wellbeing and has resulted in an unprecedented growth in Tasmanian tourism
infrastructure. The rise of tourism has led to the call for improved facilities, which are
sensitive to and acknowledge the natural landscape, to enhance the 'visitor experience'.
Additionally, this growth requires an increase in the number of facilities, such as
accommodation and visitor centres, to support visitors' needs. Therefore, it is timely for
local authorities, planning bodies and architects to consider the architectural design and
placement of these facilities.
This study investigates how architectural solutions for tourist developments can derive from,
and interpret, Tasmania's landscape. It examines six case studies of tourism facilities located
near or in Tasmania's natural landscape: Ken Latona's Bay of Fires Lodge and Cradle Huts,
Morris-Nunn & Associates' Strahan Visitor Centre and Forest EcoCentre, and Terroir's
Peppermint Bay and the Hazards Development for Federal Hotels & Resorts.
There is no existing theoretical framework for interpreting the work of Tasmanian architects
and their response to the natural landscape. As a result, a set of four criteria, derived from
Kenneth Frampton's concept of 'Critical Regionalism' (1985), has been employed to assist
with the review and evaluation of each case study. These are response to site (landscape),
culture, climate and materiality. In identifying the architectural response to the landscape
through the case studies examined, similar threads and concepts were identified, first within
each pair of buildings by each architect, then across all six case studies. As a result of the case study analysis, the following recommendations can be made for future
design of tourist architecture in natural landscapes. First, it is vital to understand and learn
from the site; effective architectural responses came from those architects who spent time on
the site prior to and during the design process. In doing so, these architects were able to
identify the best site for the building, which came from an understanding of the key features
of the site, such as topography, vegetation, aspect, orientation, climate and genius loci.
Second, it is important for architects to understand the climate and solar access across the
site throughout the year, as light is a key element in Tasmanian architecture. Third, it is imperative that architects design buildings with a minimal building footprint and little impact
on the site. This provides the option for deconstruction: to dismantle and remove the
building at any time, leaving no trace.
Fourth, the use of locally sourced and produced materials, such as timbers, stone and steel is
recommended, as this reduces embodied energy and transport costs, and provides an
enhanced sensory experience for tourists, through touch, smell and vision. Finally, and most
importantly, the intuitive response of the architect must be respected and his or her
suggestions of response to site and surrounding landscape. It was found that while
architectural responses to the natural landscape were different, each architect responded
intuitively to the individual sites.
The findings of this study suggest that a 'Tasmanian experience' can be provided for
visitors, with minimal disturbance to precious and natural landscape, through a careful and
sensitive understanding of and response to site.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Hamilton, Nina Rose
Keywords: Architecture and tourism, Ecotourism, Architecture, Resort development, Sustainable architecture, Tourism identity, landscape, phenomenology, place, place-based architecture, regionalism, Tasmania, tourist architecture.
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2006 the author

Additional Information:

Available for library use only and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (MDes)--University of Tasmania, 2007. Includes bibliographical references. 1. Introduction -- 2. Theoretical framework and method -- 3. Place, identity and regionalism in Tasmania -- 4. Tasmania' natural landscape as context for tourist architecture -- 5. Tourist interest in Tasmania -- 6. Regionalism and Tasmanian architectural qualities -- 7. Case studie4s in Tasmania's natural landscape -- 8. Discussion: results and overview of the findings -- 9. Conclusion

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