Articles Wetlands Centre visioned for Melbourne’s west set to be an Australian first in biophilic and community co-design architecture

A purpose-built Wetlands Centre set within the unique, natural habitat of Melbourne’s western suburbs, amidst a transforming industrial landscape, has been nominated as a priority for Hobsons Bay City Council’s → Advocacy Strategy 21-25.

With a vision to create a place where everyone can connect with nature to improve health and wellbeing, and be inspired to care for the precious natural environment, the Council, with not-for-profit community organisation, Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre Inc →, and project partners including Deakin University, are advocating to the Victorian state government for funds to build the innovative, sustainability-focused, interactive wetlands centre.

Located in Hobsons Bay, the regional flagship wellbeing and environmental centre for all ages, stages and abilities will be a premier destination for immersive teaching and learning from Prep to PhD, leading environmental research facilities, and promoting ecotourism and community participation in nature.

An Australian first in biophilic and community co-design architecture, the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre → has been designed by internationally renowned architects, Grimshaw. in partnership with Greenaway Architecture, Greenshoot Consulting, McGregor Coxall, Integral Group, Bollinger+Grohmann and Slattery.

“In collaboration with the Traditional Owners, we’ve created a design vision for the Wetlands Centre as a place where everyone can connect to Country.”

Grimshaw Partner, Andrew Perez

“Incorporating regenerative, climate resilient and biophilic design principles, the design for the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre will be intrinsically shaped by celebrating the cultural continuity of the Traditional Owners.”

Grimshaw Principal, Eduard Ross

The Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre will be a unique visitor and learning experience, and will be a perfect place to:
– provide a ‘green dose’ to enhance physical and mental wellbeing
– bring the economic benefit of eco-tourism to the west
– create living laboratories for learning, teaching and cutting-edge research
– celebrate country and protect habitat that supports rich and rare biodiversity.

The proposed centre will be located at HD Graham Reserve in Altona Meadows on the lands of the Bunurong people of the south eastern Kulin Nation, and near one of the most important areas of

urban biodiversity in Australia – the internationally-recognised RAMSAR-listed Cheetham Wetlands, where up to 65,000 migratory shorebirds from as far away as Siberia, visit each summer to feed and shelter.

Progress of the centre development is based on collaborative partnerships with key community partner Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre Inc and six strategic partners: Deakin University, Ecolinc Science & Technology Innovations Centre (Department of Education & Training), Melbourne Water, Greater Western Water (formerly City West Water), Cirqit Health, and Birdlife Australia.

“A dedicated wetlands centre would increase awareness of the value and importance of our internationally significant wetlands and conservation areas, provide learning for all ages and inspire us to care for our natural environment. We’re inviting the state government to help fund this innovative, environmentally-significant, community-driven project.”

Mayor of Hobsons Bay, Cr Peter Hemphill