Griffith and Deakin university students top AAC design competition

A design to align agriculture and curriculum has been chosen for the Australian Agricultural Centre.

Student Tim Lancaster, from Griffith University, is the winner; and Carolyn Hill, from Deakin University, is runner-up in the "Questacon of agriculture" competition.

Their top two designs were announced at a gala dinner at the AAC site, Wharekarori, on November 22.

AAC vision: Andrew Warren, Jess Ryan, Paul Culhane, Jo Marshall (front), Ken McCallum and Harry Divall. Photo: Clare McCabe

AAC vision: Andrew Warren, Jess Ryan, Paul Culhane, Jo Marshall (front), Ken McCallum and Harry Divall. Photo: Clare McCabe

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The design goal was to define the vision and landscape of the centre to meet educational requirements for visitors, residents and the community.

This way, "we will build a better understanding and perception around food and fibre production," said project manager and chief executive Jo Marshall.

The centre would deliver "innovative discovery and education of agriculture," she said.

Entrants received a conceptual brief for a formal education centre with a demonstration farm and bunkhouse accommodation in an authentic rural and regional setting of 400 acres of farm.

Mr Lancaster holds a bachelor degree in environments and a masters in architecture at the Gold Coast campus of Griffith University.

His conceptual design had a natural environment focus and, overall, would be easier to service, Ms Marshall said.

The selected students can now work alongside the architect of the AAC through to the completion of the build.

At the Friday gala dinner, Ms Marshall paid respects to the late David Montgomery AM, formerly of Grabben Gullen.

Mr Montgomery, who had passed away a week earlier on November 17, had come up with the original concept and was her friend and mentor, Ms Marshall said.

"He, Gillian and I discussed a pathway for this fantastic concept to become a reality... he handed me the reins."

Ms Marshall announced further conceptual plans for the AAC, including a paddock-to-plate restaurant with a hospitality training facility, a brewery, and a vertical farm with bioponic gardens.

A STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) two-day pilot program would run in 2020, she said.

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