University of Tasmanian BHA - Design Project - Oura Oura

on 06 Nov 2014 

Following the gift of Oura Oura by Bob Brown to Bush Heritage Australia in 2011, it became increasingly clear that the value of Oura Oura was in the cultural heritage imbedded in the built environment, the objects contained within the 1904 cottage and the remaining heritage plants within the grounds surrounding the cottage.

Bush Heritage has committed to preserving these and all natural values.  Our work over recent years has been, among other things:

  • Establishing the significance of these values within the global context, and
  • Developing relationship that will help guide and assist in the ongoing management of these values

Through our planning (see image of a results chain) we have identified that one of the greatest threats to the values at Oura Oura is that of vandalism, theft and arson. 

Within our Liffey Valley Plan, we are considering the feasibility of the following strategy.

  • Develop a short stay caretakers accommodation to support management of Oura Oura and maintain a heritage and visitor centre.
  • The caretakers facility would be managed on a rotational program with supported residencies focused on science and the environment, health and wellbeing, the arts, and cultural heritage. 
  • Caretakers would provide a management presence while undertaking studies or pursuits within one of these themes

We have formed a partnership with the University of Tasmania and their school of Architecture and Design to work through options and the feasibility of such a concept.  A difficult brief, with many physical and energetic design considerations, but also needing to be designed to keep alive all the values of Oura Oura, including Bob Browns personal values that became Bush Heritage values.

  • Create a place where all cultures can meet and all stories are shared
  • Celebrate all events from 40,000 plus years ago to the present that have brought us to this privileged position to maintain this common ground.
  • Preserve the birth place of Bush Heritage the Greens and the Wilderness Society, the spiritual centre for so much positive global action.

The forth year students presented three design concepts last week at Liffey, with Bob Brown and Paul Thomas in the audience along with staff and volunteers. From these we will refine the design with next years forth year students and work with others to determine the feasibility of this becoming a reality.

Maintaining the sense of isolation, wilderness and serenity are only a few of the extensive elements that have and will continue to be considered in detail by the project team.