Exhibition pavilions to house historic wooden horse-drawn Wagons
The timber & wrought-iron Bennett Wagons to be housed, were fabricated locally some 100 years ago.
The site location was in South Creek Park in St.Marys, a short distance from the original factory site where the wagons were built. The park itself had a very pleasant feel with mature trees, and a good northern aspect bordering the Creek. Security however, was also an important aspect of the brief, to ensure the Wagons would not be subject to any form of vandalism as the park had no immediate public supervision out-of-hours.
In such a pleasant natural setting, it was important that the final structure sat well within the parkland setting.
The new pavilion structures were conceived to work in tandem with an existing rudimentary pole frame structure housing an original wagon on the site. Community & Educational uses were a key part of the brief and a COLA ( Covered Outdoor Learning Area ) was created as part of the roof form to accommodate local school groups.
The conceptual intention was to create a focal point by arranging the two new pavilions to form a ‘horseshoe’ with the existing structure, to provide a North-facing Courtyard and have the roof profiles pitch down to achieve an intimate scale towards the enclosing Courtyard.
The trio of wagons and the New Pavilions are now an iconic landmark in this park, and have an appropriate dialogue with Great Western Highway approaching St.Mary’s, where the Wagons would have travelled along in the past. A key aspect of the brief was to ensure ease of access for the wagons to be hitched to horses to participate in the St. Marys Spring Festival Parade in early September each year.
The pavilions also incorporate a significant component of materials, which would have gone to landfill and are a demonstration project for the re-use and recycling of diverted waste materials, the primary example being the main structural posts which are reclaimed telegraph poles.
Outcome : The Bennett Wagons are now able to be exhibited within the community as a trio of cherished objects in a setting with historical significance to their manufacture. The beauty of the parkland has been re-invigorated with the building tucked in against a perimeter of mature trees. The robust, rudimentary character of the pavilions has a fitting relationship with these early cartage vehicles.
St. Marys & District Historical Society were leading proponents of the project to house all three wagons in one considered location.
Penrith City Council : Exhibition Pavilions
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