Seeonee Fire Refuge
Scouts SA required a new last resort fire refuge at their Woodhouse Activity Centre in the Adelaide Hills. MDLR have created a solution that addresses the functional requirements of the refuge but also sets a new standard for future Scouts infrastructure across Australia.
Woodhouse Activity Centre (‘Woodhouse’) has been occupied by Scouts SA for over 60 years, servicing scouts for camps and large-scale events (hosting up to 13,000+ people at a time). In recent years, Woodhouse has increased its commercial focus, becoming a popular destination for families, school camps, group accommodation and weddings.
The Adelaide Hills Building Fire Safety Committee identified Woodhouse as a place of last resort for the Adelaide Hills to be fully prepared in the event of a bushfire. To cater for the growing demand and deliver a last resort bushfire refuge, Woodhouse teamed up with MDLR to create a functional building design that would deliver the requirements of the refuge but also set a new standard for scouts infrastructure.
The development consisted of the following:
New bitumen access road allowing emergency egress;
Last resort bushfire refuge;
New toilet and storage facilities;
Activity rooms for Scouts SA; and
Training and conference facility for scouts, employees and volunteers.
Replacing an ageing amenities block, the new 250m2 state-of-the-art building has been carefully positioned to sit on a prominent elevation but nestled into the landscape utilising the site’s slope with some minor cut-and-fill.
Adopting a hybrid approach to construction, the central core of the building will be built in-situ and houses all wet areas such as bathrooms and camp servery. Two large activity spaces shoulder the central space on either side, constructed off-site and delivered as four individual modules.
The hybrid approach to construction allowed a condensed program, minimised interruption to site activities and also provided flexibility with the design. For example, a polished concrete floor extends throughout the central area of the building providing a robust material and desired finish.
The modules making up the activity spaces have flexibility built in to allow the client to increase the footprint in the future if they require.
A masonry brick external skin wraps around the front entrance of the building connecting the in-situ portion with the modules.