Waltzing Matilda Centre

Waltzing Matilda Centre

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Winton, Australia lies 1,356km north-west of Brisbane, surrounded by Matilda country. According to the Australian Traveller it is the dinosaur capital of Australia; paleontologists from around the world flock to the harsh and unforgiving outback to discover dinosaur bones.

Winton is also the birth place of the famous Australian bush ballad, “Waltzing Matilda.” Banjo Paterson wrote the lyrics to the legendary song nearby at Dagworth Station in 1895. It was first performed at Winton’s North Gregory Hotel the same year.

The original Waltzing Matilda Centre was opened in Winton in 1998. It boasted the tag line, “Home of Australia’s national song.” In 2015, a fire caused by an electrical fault, destroyed the original building. A $22 million rebuild was quickly funded by State and Federal Governments.

Cox Architecture’s contextual new building design reflects the surrounding Matilda country. The robust and expressive building form captures the personality of the landscape and the people that inhabit it. It has been hailed as the “Opera House of the outback.”

Dotdash (Brisbane, Australia) designed wayfinding and signage that extends the architectural language. The team was inspired by jump rock formations, anthills, prehistoric craters and the rich colors that make up the sunburnt country.

Weathered steel forms the structure of the free-standing signs and cut outs. The typographic identity of the building draws from the wool bale stencils found at a nearby sheep stations and the stark and rugged landscapes that surrounds Winton.

More about the Waltzing Matilda Centre project

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