Bushfire Memories Pavilion

Binna Burra (Australia) 2021

Griffith University, Australia

The pavilion showcases the results of a research collaboration with Binna Burra Lodge, Mount Barney Lodge and the Scenic Rim Region and was funded by the Queensland and Australian Governments. The pavilion contains memories, first-hand experiences and stories of the community about the tragic 2019-2020 bushfires to help build community resilience, foster discussion and build collective learning.

The main idea of the design for the pavilion was to house silhouettes that remind us of the 11 homes that were burned during the bushfires. It is why the exterior of the pavilion is black, while the inside is a nice clear timber shade to symbolize the untouched core of the community spirit. The inside also displays the exhibition, which is based on the community interviews. A community breakfast was held to discuss the design and content of the exhibition. This was supplemented with online engagement and participation for feedback.

The middle section of the pavilion is cut open in the shape of trees to express the incredible regeneration process that always takes place after any type of disaster. This is one strong finding of this research: the community has been very active to engage with recovery. The pavilion is located on the iconic site of the heritage Binna Burra Lodge, which totally burnt down in September 2019. The pavilion is a great example of interdisciplinary effort – architecture, engineering, tourism and environment staff have all been involved in its creation.

Client: Queensland and Australian Governments. The community of the Scenic Rim Region.

Collaborators: engineering details designed by Assoc. Professor Benoit Gilbert & Andy McDonald. Building technicians included Dr Ian Underhill, James Webster, Juergen Zier, Chaun Lo. Exhibition co-leader with A/Prof Karine Dupre is Margarida Abreu Novais.

Student: recent Griffith architect graduate Sasha Wales

Tutor: Prof Karine Dupre

Sponsor: Wesbeam donated the Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) used in the pavilion.

Suppliers: the building uses new types of timber produced by Queensland Agriculture using Queensland trees and locally produced by Austral Plywoods Pty Ltd and Big River Group

Research question: What were the adaptive actions/responses undertaken by community members and stakeholders following the traumatic 2019-2020 bushfires? Were these efficient or not and in alignment with top down strategies?


Australia, Griffith University, Architecture, Initiated by institution, 0-10, Months, +, Sponsorship, Temporary, Graduates, Collaboration, Extra-curricular, Students with researcher