Vasse, Western Power Depot

Industrial + Defence

  • Project

    New regional depot

  • Services

    Masterplannig, full architectural services and interior design with novation to the contractor for construction

  • Location

    Vasse, WA

  • Client

    Western Power

  • Date

    2016-18

Cameron Chisholm Nicol were engaged by Western Power to design their first new purpose built facility in almost 30 years. Located on 1.89 hectares the new depot, named Mulgarup/Balbaringup, meaning thunder and lightening, consolidates the Busselton and Margaret River depots and becoming the landmark project of the Western Power’s depot modernisation program.

The design embodies Western Power’s vision for the depot to become a benchmark for operational efficiency, flexibility and workplace safety.

CCN worked closely with Western Power stakeholder groups, discussing and visiting existing depots to establish current and future needs as well as researching and testing best work practices and workflow. In order to accommodate all functional areas and vehicular circulation, multiple masterplan options were explored. Using Kevin Lynch’s urban design principles as a framework, we developed an understanding of the work flow and divided areas into different work zone, key navigational landmarks and nodes. This framework informed how the masterplan was tested to ensure safety and intuitive way finding.

The central office building has all its primary structure constrained to its outer walls, allowing for future conversion into a warehouse or other operational area. Lightweight framework walls throughout allow for modification in the future. Structure of the canopies were designed to minimise obstacles to circulation, optimising safety. A key innovation of the depot planning was the centrally located drive-through logistics loading area.

The administration building on Ostler Drive incorporates coloured fins developed in collaboration with artist Anne Neil, taking cue from Wester Power’s Electron branding, creating colourful and dynamic identity for the depot. The success of this project has established a new benchmark for the completion of Western Power’s depot modernisation program.

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