Lake Tyrrell is a 20,000 hectare salt lake north of the town of Sea Lake and 420 kms north-west of Melbourne. The lake is dry for most of the year, with a shallow water cover in winter that makes for exceptional reflections of the sky and cloud formations during the day, and stars at night.
Buloke Shire Council engaged Thomson Hay Landscape Architects to design a public space adjacent to the lake to support growing tourism numbers while protecting the fragile salt basin.
Thomson Hay Landscape Architects has specified single and double Mall Sun Lounges for the ‘Sky Lounge,’ a place to view the sunset and stars.
The form of the seat was ideal for star gazing, David Hay, Director of Thomson Hay Landscape Architects, told StreetChat.
“The purpose and arrangement of the seats is primarily to comfortably view the night sky – although it appears to also be a sunset viewing location,” he said.
“Tour groups are taken out to the lake from the nearby township of Sea Lake both during the day and night and the seating arrangement allows small groups to move around the seating circle to experience all views of the sky. We visited the site earlier this month and the night sky and milky way was stunning.”
The landscape architects specified anodised aluminium battens for the furniture, to stay cool in the baking heat of the salt lake during the day.
“Due to the extreme heat experienced at the site during the summer months we researched what would be the most suitable material for the seat battens – to stay as cool as possible – and specified anodised aluminium battens. This selection appears to be the right one,” David said.
See our temperature study comparing batten materials.
Prior to the pandemic Lake Tyrrell tourism operators were seeing high visitation from Chinese tourists, with Council recording as many as 1000 visitors a day in peak times. The site now draws local visitors to experience the expansiveness of the lake, the starry night sky, and – when water is present – to see reflections and the pink-coloured lake water.
The Lake Tyrrell Tourism Infrastructure Development Project includes new visitor information, a viewing platform and toilets, boardwalk extension, the sky lounge, walking paths, shelters, landscaping and interpretive and wayfinding signage.
The project, including civil construction, building works, landscape and signage was completed by Gradian Projects.
Sky Lounge Detail Plan by Thomson Hay Landscape Architects.