Bushfire Centre of Excellence

An interpretive demonstration landscape that reflects national guidelines for design in bushfire prone areas while taking into consideration local context.

The Bushfire Centre of Excellence is the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ (DFES) new learning hub for cultivating knowledge and providing support for the management and response to bushfires in Western Australia. The purpose-built facility provides high-level training for WA’s bush firefighters and other emergency service personnel.

The $33.16 million-dollar centre located 80 kilometres south of the Perth CBD in the Peel Region was designed by Site Architecture Studio and built by Perkins Builders. It includes an interpretive demonstration landscape designed by Josh Byrne & Associates (JBA) that reflects national guidelines for the appropriate design for bushfire prone areas.

JBA was engaged as the landscape architect to deliver schematic design through to detailed documentation. As part of our research into the context and purpose of the project, JBA reviewed and synthesised numerous national and local bushfire guidelines and standards with the outcomes verified by DFES and applied to the design. Documentation such as the Australian Standard (AS 3959) Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas was used to inform the design of Bushfire Hazard Separation Zones, while DFES’s input helped inform the appropriate Asset Protection Zones.

In the concept design phase the design team leveraged DFES’s existing relationship with the Bindjareb Elders and local community, spending time to understand the site within its regional context. The final design interprets the connection between plants, soil, and groundwater and generates distinct plant response patterns. These patterns are understood by Bindjareb People and are a significant part of their story and relationship to this country.

The detailed design was completed in September 2020 and the project was launched by the West Australian Premier in January 2021.

Client

Department of Fire and Emergency Services

Site Architecture Studio 

JBA Role

Landscape architect