New view for Tasmania's Cradle Mountain

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The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service has released plans for a new Dove Lake viewing shelter at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.

Architecture has been created by Cumulus Studio, and landscape architecture by Playstreet.

 Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park is World Heritage listed.

Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park is World Heritage listed.

Cradle Mountain is an iconic and frequently visited Tasmanian site, but the current supporting infrastructure is out-dated and cannot support the increasing number of visitors. While 268,000 visited in 2017, it’s predicted Dove Lake will see 467,500 visitors in 2048. 

Cumulus Studio’s plan consists of an arrival chamber, two viewing chambers with huge windows, and cave-like connecting passages. The placement of the viewing shelter is such that the visitor’s view of the lake is concealed as they approach, allowing for a dramatic reveal. 

The new building is designed to occupy an almost identical footprint to the original site, and existing car parks, toilets, and registration huts will be removed so that this unused space can be rehabilitated for an extra 900m2 of native vegetation. 

This structure will surround an 180m2 central courtyard containing buildings for lockers, registration and food and drink sales.

 The new viewing shelter overlooking Dove Lake has been designed to be sensitive to the environment.

The new viewing shelter overlooking Dove Lake has been designed to be sensitive to the environment.

Cumulus Studio says that it was important to them that “the buildings were designed to be sensitive to the environment and World Heritage Values. It is envisaged that the buildings should feel solid and grounded, as if sculpted from the site or carved from a solid rock by a glacier. Buildings were designed to enhance the visitor experience by revealing views and other aspects of the landscape, culminating in a chance to reflect and contemplate the environment in the viewing shelter at Dove Lake.”

After a feedback period, the proposal will be submitted to the Kentish Council in November or December of this year. 

The shelter is the second stage of the Cradle Mountain Masterplan, and a mooted third stage includes a series of walking shelter pods for visitors to rest in as they tour Dove Lake.