The Kauwi Interpretive Centre educates and inspires people through the interpretation of narratives about water use and the desalination process.
GHDWoodhead worked closely with SA Water and the AdelaideAqua D&C consortium group (Abigroup, McConnell Dowell, Built Environs, Acciona Agua) to produce a spectacular, yet sensitive built form set in the rolling coastal landscape south of Adelaide.
The name ‘Kauwi’ can be translated as ‘water’ and comes from the local Kaurna Aboriginal language. The building was designed to work in an integrated way with the interpretive elements. The sense of atmosphere within the building, with the combination of rippled blue ‘water’ floor and reflective ceiling, is one of being underwater.
The layered rammed earth walls make reference to the strata as seen in nearby cliffs. These strong natural references are enhanced by the use of reflective metals, referencing the high tech processes used in desalination.
The visitors journey through the building and interpretive displays culminate in magnificent views across the coast and the nearby Desalination Plant. The Kaurna Heritage Board was a key collaborator, their input informing the development of the Centre and the adjacent Bush Tukka Garden and Boardwalk.
The contribution of ideas to these educational spaces showcases the Aboriginal cultural connection to country and the ongoing links to water and sustainability.
The Kauwi Interpretive Centre creates a memorable experience for visitors, with key messages around the importance of desalination, quality water supplies, sustainability and indigenous heritage.