Maria River Distillery

Commencing Construction

Public / Commercial - An accessible ramp becomes a viewing deck and refuge point...

(Maria River Distillery) SEE MORE HERE

The proposed project entails establishing a restaurant and expanding on the existing industrial production of Maria River Distilling Co. The site site between Crescent Head and Kempsey, NSW, along the famous Maria River. It is a rural property with vistas, wildlife and amazing planting and botanicals throughout. On a generation farm, this property has been a diary farm for most of its life, which has grown to become one of the countries top boutique gin distillers. The goal to expand production and allow visitors to enjoy not only the product but the site was a major goal for this project.

While the site is breathtaking, it came with challenges. The land is renowned for flooding to up to two and half metres above ground level, sitting in a bushfire zone and an ecological protection zone. We undertook an in-depth site analysis and feasibility of the brief in regards to the site to outline what the constituents of these challenges will be.

We posed the question that these constraints on site, whilst a problem in first principals, could actually be something that strengthens the project and creates possibility not a hinderance

With bathrooms being 2.5m above ground level that need to be wheelchair accessible, we proposed to use this ramp as a public viewing path for all to safely view the MRD production process which also offers another perspective of the site and surrounding botanicals. We took inspiration from the existing boat house by the river to create a large gabled restaurant that is essentially a large viewing deck. Between the production shed and the restaurant sits the existing diary that is transformed into a bar to be used by guests in the courtyard.

This project has been approaved by Kempsepy Shire Council and is currently undergoing construction documentation. Watch this space

This project is a prototype for the following questions:

  • Can a problem lead to a solution?
  • Can we merge public functions?
  • Can site influence design proposition?
  • Can site influence design aesthetic and scale?

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