GRAND DESIGN: Architecture award puts region on the globe
A BEAUTIFUL piece of architecture hidden in a forest near Stanthorpe has put the region on the world stage.
The Piano Mill was awarded winner of the Completed Buildings - Culture category at the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam last Thursday.
Architect Bruce Wolfe of Conrad Gargett said he was surprised by the interest and enthusiasm the jury showed and expected to receive a commendation.
"I was initially a little disappointed when we missed the recommendation then only a second or two later to see the project on the screen as 'winner' was absolutely stunning," he said.
"It was an incredible feeling that this minute project had been selected as world cultural building."
The Piano Mill is a nine-metre high structure, created from 16 pianos, sourced from Brisbane, Stanthorpe, Warwick and Toowoomba.
The collaborative work was created by Mr Wolfe, musicians Erik Griswold and Vanessa Tomlinson and his musicologist wife Jocelyn.
"The judges were obviously impressed by the uniqueness of the concept but it was the way this project represented the intersection of music, art, environment and architecture that seemed to make the difference," Mr Wolfe said.
"They also liked the way the project respected its setting in the forest with the timber and copper weathering and blending in with the trees."
Mr Wolfe said the Granite Belt was on his mind for new projects, the latest being "Lagavulin" a small recital building located between Stanthorpe and Tenterfield.
"The region should be proud of the unique things that happen locally from the fabulous art gallery to the wineries and national parks to now its architecture.
"The Piano Mill is the opposite of a grand building but it shows how regional architecture has no reason to feel as though it cannot compete on the world stage.
"Whether architecture, music or art, people should be able to have cultural pride whatever region, it is a privilege to be able to contribute to that."
The Piano Mill is closed to the public except for an Easter concert and for other events advertised on the Facebook page throughout the year.