The Dulux Study tour has officially commenced! After two postponed tours with revised dates, destinations and itineraries we are grateful and excited to be gathering in Hobart – an expanded cohort of 9 architects – ready to embark on day one of a two-week tour of Australian destinations encompassing architecture and landscape in Tasmania, New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
The first day of the trip sees us bound for krakani lumi, a standing camp on the northern edge of the Bay of Fires, designed by Taylor and Hinds Architects. Intended as a two night stop over for a four-day guided walk through the cultural landscape from wukalina to larapuna, our visit to the site was arranged as an unforgettable day trip. An early and adventurous start saw us boarding a small plane and a fleet of three helicopters, that carried us on a spectacular scenic commute from Hobart closer to the site on Tasmania’s north eastern tip. After disembarking we travelled a little way further by bus to meet Cody and Jake, our hosts from wukalina, then set off for a bushwalk that would lead us to the campsite.
As we made our way along the fire trail through several kilometres of coastal heath, our guides identified native plants with a range of traditional uses – food, medicine, fire starting, water filtration and water storage. As the scrubby heath gave way to a coastal dune landscape our close proximity to the ocean was revealed. We continued to chart a course along the beach before turning our backs on the ocean to scale a dune where our sandy trail was replaced with a duckboard walkway: the first signifier that we were nearing our destination.
Gradually coming into view through dense banksia, the glowing blackwood veneer that lines the half-domed interior of the ‘communal hub’ signalled our arrival at krakani lumi. The luminescent interior is framed by the rectilinear form of a charred Tasmanian Oak building envelope that deliberately recedes into a landscape dotted with blackened grass tree stumps and banksia husks. We were welcomed to the site by our hosts with a smoking ceremony, which was followed by a shared meal of locally caught seafood and mutton bird, damper seasoned with native herbs, fresh salads and a glass of champagne to toast the occasion.
During this time, our group gathered around the open-air fire pit, chatted freely, and took respite from the wind under the architecture, which humbly references the architecture of traditional bark huts. We were then invited to see the camping accommodation, a series of expertly crafted pavilions dispersed in the landscape. The Taylor and Hinds design offered so many beautiful and considered moments of architectural detailing – the bird hides built into the building envelope a personal favourite.
It was wonderful to experience krakani lumi in the manner for which it was intended – as a place to be welcomed by traditional owners and as a place of rest. Making our way out of camp we followed an alternative coastal route. We felt like we were given a glimpse into this place by those who know it best and were even treated to guest appearances by the local fauna – a curious wombat included. After our fleet of light aircraft brought us back to Hobart, our day concluded with a practice visit to the Partners Hill at Ingle Hall where we were welcomed for Friday afternoon drinks, marking the end of the week and a full-stop on our first day of the Dulux Study Tour.