MAKE architecture studio were connected with the non-profit community group, Friends of Westgate Park through the ‘Architects for Peace Pro Bono Service’ and are providing architectural services to the group.
Westgate Park is an inner metropolitan park in the heart of industrial Melbourne. It was a former rubbish tip that has been transformed into flourishing ecological and recreational wetland environment. The bird life in the park is considerable and the park has become popular with bird observers. A bird hide is proposed on the fresh water lake to address the lack of purpose built bird watching facilities.
The design is conceived as an alternate walkway – connecting to the existing paths around the site. The walkway and bird hide extend out over the water to ensure close proximity to the bird life. The balustrade on the walkway becomes a screen that becomes the wall that conceals the bird watchers. Security was important and views into the hide from the walkway are maintained at all times.
A design studio was initially run with RMIT architecture students to develop ideas and provide a strong research base for the project. MAKE has then developed the project in consultation with the Friends of Westgate Park, ERM and Parks Victoria.