The newly revamped Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Rainforest Discovery Centre in Maleny is officially open to the public, welcoming visitors to submerge themselves in an educational experience over 55 hectares of subtropical rainforest, located over the Glass House Mountains in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

The renewal project recently took out the top spot for Sustainable Architecture in this year’s Queensland Architecture Awards, presented by the Australian Institute of Architects.

Umow Lai would like to congratulate their project partners Guymer Bailey Architects, on their design and environmental innovation in recommencing the Discovery Centre, which also saw them attain a commendation in the Public Architecture category.

Guymer Bailey Architects and Umow Lai have worked together on various projects in the sunshine state for over 8 years, with the Mary Cairncross conservation building being one of the team’s proudest executions to date.

Burrowed in a nitophyll vine forest with anchored trees and exceptional views, the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is one of the last vegetation communities to exist. Nitophyll vine forests include a variety of species with many complex features, that contribute to the high development of flora and fauna in bioregions.

Mechanical/Electrical, Specialist Lighting, Information Communication Technology, Security, Fire Detection and Alarms services were provided by Umow Lai, meeting the project brief for eco-friendly technology and simple user controls.

The new educational and tourism asset contains pioneering rainforest displays, and two scenic access points that offer an immersive learning experience for visitors that walk along the scenic boardwalk to the main centre.

Director and Design Architect, Phil Jackson of Guymer Bailey Architects, recently spoke on the prominence of winning the coveted Harry Marks Award for Sustainable Architecture.

“Mary Cairncross is an incredibly important project to us, and everyone involved. With such an amazingly beautiful and well-loved site, we were conscious of the responsibility the team carried to the community to create a special building and landscape,” Mr Jackson said.

“The design and delivery were genuinely collaborative from start to finish, and we wish to thank all those involved. We are humbled by the recognition the project has received, particularly for sustainability, as it reinforces our commitment to responsible, sustainable design for the community.”

The Discovery Centre offers visitors a learning experience, driven by sustainability within every aspect of the design.

Umow Lai’s technology draws upon the significance of endangered species and diverse flora and fauna, reinforcing the objectives to represent conservation, education and partnerships.