Donnybrook Goods Shed Revitalisation

Arts & Culture
The Client
Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup
Project Team
Flavia Kiperman
Principal - Heritage
Kate Parker
Associate - Arts & Culture
Alana Jennings
Consultant - Heritage
Carmel Given
Senior Consultant - Heritage
Iwan Isnin
Consultant - Place
The Project

One of the most important cultural assets to the Donnybrook-Balingup community is the heritage listed Donnybrook Railway Heritage Precinct (DRHP). Located in the heart of the Donnybrook Town Centre, the site includes approximately three hectares of public realm, and the 1800s Goods Shed - originally used for the loading and distribution of goods from trains on the south west rail line. Since being decommissioned for its original industrial purpose the Shed has been utilised for a range of functions, however in recent years has fallen into a state of disrepair.  

In October 2018 the Shire and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) entered into an agreement to revitalise the precinct to create an asset that will provide a range of benefits to the local community and act as a drawcard for visitors.

During 2019, the Shire undertook significant community consultation for the project which included undertaking an online survey that received over 300 responses, holding meetings with relevant community groups, and the formation of a Community Reference Group (CRG). The consultation process culminated in Council’s adoption of a ‘Master Plan’ for the precinct that provides high level guidance on the future development and use of the precinct.

Our Role

Engaged as part of the project team with Perkins and MCG Architects, element is now working with Shire to deliver an asset that will act as a drawcard for visitors and provide amenity to the local community.  

Drawing on extensive experience delivering cultural infrastructure across the State, element’s role includes project vision development and concept designs for the urban realm and the Shed itself.

Due to the heritage nature of the precinct, a Heritage Impact Assessment and Archival Record are currently in development, in order to assist with gaining development approval and maintaining the project program.

A significant part of the project is the interpretation of the Shire and Donnybrook-Balingup Historical Society’s extensive collection, to bring to life the region’s colourful past and enduring culture. This interpretation will form part of the interior fit out of the space, as well as being integrated throughout the public realm. Following development of the Interpretation Strategy, element is working closely with the Historical Society and the Shire to deliver this aspect of the project.


Through an in-depth review of the local context, key drivers and trends, element along with MCG and Perkins developed a strategic approach to the activation of The Goods Shed. This approach was presented to the Shire as a high-level concept design, brought to life through case study imagery, architectural and landscape plans and proposed program.

Following award of the contract, our Heritage team’s advice and Heritage Impact Assessment has ensured a streamlined and efficient approvals process. The project is now in early phases of delivery, set for completion in early 2021.  

What We Delivered
  • A tender-winning concept design and interpretation response, presented to the Shire
  • Heritage services including on site advice, Heritage Impact Assessment and Archival Record
  • Ongoing advice relating to urban and landscape design, in order to maximise site activation
  • Ongoing advice relating to the design of the Goods Shed to maximise is attractiveness on the commercial market and attract an anchor tenant
  • Interpretation Strategy

Related Projects

Donnybrook Goods Shed Revitalisation
City of Karratha Public Art Procurement
Leeuwin Barracks - Heritage Services