The project is a key element of the Cairns Cityport Masterplan which has transformed the waterfront into an urban public realm. The client prioritised the conservation of the wharf’s historic sheds and artefacts as well as the creation of waterfront public space. The design sought to fulfil these aspirations by engaging multiple historic elements with a language of new social follies that are fabricated from salvaged timbers. These are designed to create portals to particular places of historic and environmental interest.
Seeing Cairns as a city of edges rather than spaces, our aim was to culminate the city’s main axis in a new public space, rather than (as originally briefed) single edifice. This aim was accomplished by translating the brief into three pavilions defining the new space: • the Cairns Yacht Club • a pavilion of bars and restaurants and • a boat shed