Gensler is designing the front-of-house visitor experience for the nature-based tourism project, Guulabaa, or Place of Koala, in Cowarra State Forest, in partnership with Forestry Corporation NSW and Bunyah Local Aboriginal Land Council. The highly collaborative project is guided by the First Nations Peoples’ traditional knowledge and contemporary, evidence-based science to create a productive Australian native forest that will also host a breeding program for wild koalas.
The nature-based tourism experience includes four elevated decks with a cafe and gallery run by the Bunyah Local Aboriginal Land Council and an educational amphitheater for cultural awareness training. Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) processes, Indigenous cultural burn practices, and the use of local hardwood forest resources create a uniquely local and innovative approach to eco-tourism.
Acknowledgement of partnerships: Forestry Corporation NSW, Bunyah Local Aboriginal Land Council, Wildnets, PMKH (AJ+C), Taronga Zoo, University of Sydney, Prof. James Murray-Parkes, TTW, E-Labs, SWP, Cundall, MBM.