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M. John Latham – Architect P.O.Box 54, SORELL 7172 email@example.com 03 6265 1420
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Two Aspects to be Awakened to join the Current
There are two significant aspects of the Hollybank
Forest asset yet to be awakened to accompany the extant
(and expandable) ‘in forest’ sensations and experience
of native habitat, overhead foliage, fickle shadows,
branches, barken trunks and roots grasping the health of
These two aspects, conveniently, are together in close
proximity, facilitating not only access but ergonomic
and visual drama – a drama of place made by
topography and orientation to the sun. An asset to be
1. THE HIGHEST POINTS
This aspect is comprised of the two most
elevated points, located at the south-east. They
are prime for awakening. From these points we
can see out from the ‘in forest’ realm, also
present there, to an overview of the forest
canopies and afield.
The psychologies of the overview sensations
blended with those of the ‘in forest’ realm work
well together. The variations of weather
further enhance this; for example we move
from the shade and stillness ‘in forest’ to the
bright sun and wind of the ‘over realm’ and
back again - stimulating. The way we move is
itself a stimulating experience.
Sensitive development of these high points can
awaken these natural potentials whilst
contributing additional commodity. It is
important that these hillfaces remain
substantially foliated in appearance from within
2. THE LOWEST POINT
This aspect occurs where Pipers River is met
by a very low flow Butchers Creek, the Ravine
Junction. The valleys and junction point of
these two flow ravines offer a diverse aspect to
the forest and this is only heightened by the
primeval presence of fresh ‘natural’ water.
The potential for a small dam at one or of each
these flows, whilst it must be pursued for latent
development at Hollybank, is by no means
critical to the worthwhile capitalisation of the
extant landform environment of the ravines and
in particular their junction.
To capitalise, we must be able to access both
sides of each ravine and certainly the three
shores of the junction. The low-to-zero flow of
the creek can be managed to advantage.
The ‘in forest’ lower-elevation potentials and the built
exterior and interior potentials of course remain as
aspects for utilisation development.
3. ‘IN FOREST’, CULTURAL AND
BUILT - ACTIVITIES AND
This aspect encompasses a plethora of
potentials which are both already evident and
will come to light as time goes by. This
proposal establishes a basis to unify these
variable potentials through all three -
compatibility, access and design character.
UUNNIIFFIICCAATTIIOONN OOFF TTHHEE TTHHRREEEE
ENTRANCE AND EXIT
During approach by highway, any visibility of
iconic construction at the high points, such as
bungee equipment, is an advantage to drama
and also a drawcard.
The drama of the transition to forest from day-
to-day highway and urban attachments should
be optimised and safeguarded. The transition
begins at the highway turn-off and finishes as
we pass on foot through the shrubbery and
foliage that conceals the car park. Transition is
an important aspect of the proposal illustrated.
It is underpinned by the highway gateway,
Adventure Drive, the glimpse viewpoint and
the anticipations of leaving the concealed car
park for an extensive petrol-free journey.
A further latent potential to enter the site via a
tunnel as illustrated would be very dramatic
and subject to feasibility study and timely
As well as the more traditional visual design
means of integrating all impact on the forest
heritage, such as coordinated materials and
signage, it is important that all commercial
parties associated with installed commodity,
such as bungee, comply with a respected code
for visual appearance and design. The
character of place presented in this proposal is
for absolute minimisation of urban/commercial
clutter in the forest realm. It is not altogether
unreasonable, however, to allow a single aspect
of bright synthetic attraction at the high point
development – to draw interest. This may be
the tall poles of a reverse bungee being brightly
painted, with flags and lights.
Level and sheltered access about the site is
optimised by a circuit track. In the family
spirit small quiet electric vehicles and rail punts
Both the appropriate grouping together of
development items and the movement between
the groups and the various isolated activities
are keys to providing a satisfactory outcome for
the initial development and importantly to
allow a basis for future visitor growth without
destroying the character of place which will
foster this growth. It is with this in mind that
the Ravine Junction in association with the
high points is most exciting as a small
development growing into a prosperous larger
one without bombastic intrusion.
As an item of point, it is suggested that
generally ground hugging rail punts are a better
alternative to flying foxes – not only because of
the low visual impact but also for forest contact
and contrast between the ‘in forest’ and
overview realms. Some fast run cable rides,
both one and two person, will be feasible at
various points on the site, but may be best kept
in association with the high point
Certainly a skyway to Mt Arthur should remain
an associated concept. However a small
modern electric train of similar scale and track
sensitivity to that of Ida Bay but of
contemporary culturally designed bodywork
(perhaps mirror finish) may be an option for
some of this journey.
TTHHEE PPRROOJJEECCTT CCOORREE
At its most minimal the Ravine Junction, “The
Hollybank Bowl”, is accessed by primitive ‘jungle’
footbridges and provides a simple terminus to the high
point developments and linking to the rest of the site via
the circuit track. In this sense it is an incidental core, in
that the high point development is a probably a more
The Ravine Junction is the practical heart of this
proposal – not the heart of of the Hollybank site.
The Ravine Junction provides a dramatic topographical
location in itself as well as a logical access for the two
high points, ravine crossings, the ‘fairly level’ circuit
track and the car park.
Subject to funding and interest conditions the Ravine
Junction also operates as a place to tarry, enjoy water
flow and puddles, swing, picnic and take basic shelter.
We may also part with some money. But this is merely
the beginning of the entrepreneurial imagination and
long term potential (sketch 2/9) for this site.
A bridge, south side of the Ravine Junction, can also be
a building housing these facilities. Further still, a larger
building may house a tennis racquet museum and river
life interpretation. Further still, the building may
become a damface providing sensational indoor water
flows and underwater viewing potentials, scientific
projects and receptions displaying the principles of
ultra-modern clean-green minihydro/solar energy
autonomy. In addition a whole new aspect of enjoyment
and activity potential would be opened at the dam
surface – even a dance floor floating in lighted
reflections has been whimsied among a swath of
Surely approval for a dam would be declined unless
significant benefit to the State could be communally
agreed as a go-ahead. This can only come once
Hollybank can gain the confidences necessary. Never-
the-less this current proposal is not contingent upon a
Working together with a simple Ravine Junction facility
an amphitheatre, doubling optionally as an activities
area and a place of spatial enjoyment, would very likely
inspire cultural performance. Seating on one side of the
ravine, the stage on the other.
Stretching a point perhaps, another small dam on the
creek would provide a gondolier style transport from
our gateway hospitalities among the existing timber
buildings. This could provide movement shelter and
contrasting activity. As a secondary dam it would also
enhance a built spatial effect at the Ravine Junction
around the amphitheatre-style activity area. The
damface would be visually and functionally enhanced –
terraced and verandahed.
Without this secondary dam a track, quite sheltered by
new foliage supplemented with built cover, can run
through this ravine to the Ravine Junction rather than a
gondolier. A gentle billy-cart run for toddlers may be a
worthy enterprise alongside the track.
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The eastern high point, “Hollybank Big Top”, subject to
available investments might carry;
Reverse bungee – “The Get-Further-Out-
Luge and Billy Cart tracks – running under the
rail punt track at junctions.
Accomodation – up to five star but without
normal urban accesses. Construction would be
facing northern sun substantially inground and
in accord with land contour. One construction
above and one below the terraced and
creatively paved hub point established by the
luge/bungee and the visitor access rail punt.
Water and power to the high points must be discrete and
preferably silent – these remain subject to
Service access is by off-road vehicle when not rail punt
and only outside operating hours. A log bridge at the
northern Hollybank boundary and a track running
behind and servicing the cabins and Ravine Junction
subject to detailed eventuations may be the best high
point service access. Expanded growth of this high
point development should investigate access via the
Imagine the scene from here looking down onto a dam
TTHHEE WWEESSTTEERRNN HHIIGGHH PPOOIINNTT
The western high point is a secondary development
consideration. Firstly it may carry small scale solo
cable run rides and other activities. Visitor access at
this stage may be only for the agile of foot – activities
may be limited to energetic individuals and groups.
Secondly it may one day be the point of arrival by
tunnel or a minor tunnel connection to nearby reserve.
An issue of drama and variations.
MMOOUUNNTT AARRTTHHUURR VVIIEEWW KKIIOOSSKK
A visually discrete and delightful building may be built
between the two shallow knolls on the high ground just
east of the existing Avenue. It is dedicated simply to
viewing, interpreting and photographing Mt Arthur.
Access may be by rail punt from the circuit track and
electric vehicle from the Avenue.
This schematic expression suggests strongly that an
Eden environment, “Hollybank Haven”, based on
suspension structure from the ravine(s) embankments
and including river flow (or dam) is desirable from the
viewpoint of core location, visual discretion and
structural economy. Such an environment, may best be
placed over the site for the potential river dam lake
where it is perhaps most discrete. Alternatively it may
sit over the amphitheatre, Hollywood Bowl, area. Only
detail working analysis can resolve the feasibilities as to
The roofing of the “Hollybank Haven” may also carry
footbridges, water and power conduits to the high point
developments as well as for rainmaking within.
Around the world there are very serious endeavours to
create autonomous living and cultivation environments
and also monitoring climate change. “Hollybank
Haven” could be a serious scientific endeavour, suiting
‘brand Tasmania’ whilst remaining a place of simple
entertainment and discovery for visitors of all ages.
Subject to size it may include amphitheatre, play areas,
kiosk and inner semi-sealed environments devoted to
botanical experience and research. It is difficult to
imagine that a small dam would be refused for such a
Why not eventually an Eden resort – a symbol of
Tasmania’s unique aspirations (‘Thylacine Abodes’
within “Hollybank Haven”) (Waiters wearing thylacine
jackets funning with Italian gondoliers).
CCOOSSTTSS AANNDD AAPPPPRROOVVAALLSS
Whole of concept costs are subject to commercial
negotiations. The Forestry’s project budget will allow
establishment of seeding infrastructure for the whole
Approvals are to be sought.
ATTENTION: Ms Pete Dowell-Hentall
COMMENTS - HOLLYBANK
Following our meeting at Hollybank yesterday I make
the following notes for Foresty’s confirmations and
The principle of my submission is that the
Hollybank site can be established so as to offer
seductive business and possibly research sites
for lease. The construction (and maintenance)
of infrastructure on leasable sites may perhaps
be by Forestry or by lessees. A combination of
both may be best, depending on the
undertakings and operational preferences.
The suggested establishment of Hollybank such
that seductive business sites can be offered is
based on the Family Forest Fun theme and the
enhancement of Hollybank’s existing intrinsic
community interests. The submission makes a
number of suggestions with this in mind.
These enhancements probably should
eventually variously be free and cheap to the
public – thus creating all three; kudos, an
atmosphere and a potential paying populace.
The kernel and future development of the large
hot house (with its own business sites) is part
of these enhancements.
Specific access to and basic preparation of each
business site would be a fundamental to
attraction of operators. Similar to a shopping
centre providing facility and public arena for its
tenants. The three bridges and the circuit track
are a key to this.
The range of commercial sites could be
increased as time and also lease return provide
opportunity. A theme park idea (with unique
accommodation) grows – but one suited to
Foresty aims and not Walt Disney. The detail
charisma of this theme is value-added by Brand
Tasmania and Hollybank’s own uniqueness.
I noted yesterday that the centre part of the
Hollybank site is an area that may be
considered feasible for a substantial built
development. Indeed there may be a fair
option for this, but I take this opportunity to
warn that the bane of harmonious development
is the losing of the soul of a place by
construction of a house, say, so as to obliterate
that aspect of the place that one most valued.
Detail feasibilities and approvals should be
considered before the business decision is
made. I am happy to wait. As a minimum it
may be that a $2million investment on circuit
track, interpretation, kiosk and bridges could be
initially redeemed with profit through visitor
charges. Thus a kick-off for operator
development is established.
John Latham 29.09.03