Kalkaringi, NT 2020 – Consultation Days 1 & 2
This year Bower studio will be returning to Kalkaringi with a new project and a new team.
Having been students in last year’s project, the 2019 Kalkaringi park pavilion build, this year Belle and I will be joining the Bower team as mentors, alongside David, George, James, Jack and 10 new students. With the university semester and this year’s Bower trip rapidly approaching, preparations for this year's build at Kalkaringi are now well underway. The project will see us working with the community to upgrade the old clinic, in the centre of Kalkaringi, into the new community hub, our efforts will be focused on the exterior of the building, providing shading designs, landscaping and place-making. David, Belle and I returned to Kalkaringi for consultations with the community, and to present, discuss and gain feedback on our ideas for the project.
Kalkaringi, NT 2020 – Consultation Day 1
After flying from Melbourne, a long drive to Top Springs and spending the night in dongas, we began the final leg of the journey to Kalkaringi. There were some trepidations as to whether we’d be able to travel through to Kalkaringi following the 122mm of rain that had fallen the previous day and the uncertainty of more future rain. Fortunately though, we got lucky and arrived in Kalkaringi in good time. The arid landscape we’d come to know in our trip last April was almost unrecognisable, covered with green grass and shrubs, and with flocks of red-tailed black cockatoos in the treetops, it had fully transformed over the wet season.
Arriving in Kalkaringi we met with Double R, his cousins Quitaysha and Mina, Penny from Karungkarni Art, Phil the CEO of Gurindji Corp and Michael, the new Gurindji Corp manager of construction and maintenance. Always brimming with ideas for infrastructure improvements for their community, we joined them on a tour of the town, observing potential sites for a future family centre project. We then continued onto the site for the next Bower project, which will include the construction of shade screens, seating and landscaping to upgrade and enhance the exterior of the old clinic building, which will be converted to a community hub to provide offices and spaces for tourism, Gurindji Corp, and community services and facilities.
Kalkaringi, NT 2020 – Consultation Day 2
Upon seeing the site it was immediately evident that our sketch design options could be modified to better utilise the spaces available on site and take advantage of the stunning views out towards the landscape. After adapting the concept to take full advantage of the site, we had a productive onsite consultation with Gurindji Corp and other community members, and decided that unlike previous Bower builds, such as the Wave Hill Walk-Off pavilions which had an inherent focus on the community’s past, this new project would be more about where the community is now, a contemporary story that talks to the future of the Gurindji people.
Incorporating the discussion from our meeting, the afternoon was spent cadding drawings of the community hub floorplans to be sent to council, and constructing models of our design proposal to present in tomorrow’s consultation meeting with key community members (prior to our trip we had prepared a concept model as an adaptable kit of parts in anticipation of the consultation and site visit adjustments). In the evening we went to the club and enjoyed catching up with people we had met and friends we had made on the previous trip to Kalkaringi.
By Emma Martin