Located northbound on the Goulburn Valley Highway heading out of Melbourne, Australia, towards Shepparton, you’ll find an off-grid rest stop enticing drivers to stop with its modern architecture and 50s throwback twist evoking the great family road trip. This is the Calder Woodburn Rest Area by BKK Architects.
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While most rest stops bring to mind a large square block with weak coffee and cellophane-wrapped snacks after a dash to the toilets, by comparison, this one is an aesthetic relief.
Its floating, lightweight and corrugated steel roofs offer shade by day and also serve as signage with the bold tent-like black and white stripes painted on its underside. The daring designs and negative spaces create ever-changing patterns and shadows throughout the day. When illuminated at night, they produce striking images.
Additionally, the rest stop was designed to feature the plains surrounding the vistas. The designers did this by integrating it seamlessly with the land while still creating visual impact with its bold lines.
Meanwhile, the concrete cast forms minimized the impact on the environment during its build. These precast forms reduced the cost of the building, as concrete is a more affordable material, and the manpower needed to construct the rest area.
The round, concrete restroom structures are tiled in bright glossy colors, giving its interiors a sparkling jewel-like quality while also reducing the restrooms’ need for upkeep.
By placing the rest stop on this long stretch of highway in the Victoria Region of Australia, which has few areas for its travelers to pull over, the new location offers respite for weary travelers. Most importantly, its key location has been helping to reduce the risk of accidents. The station has become known as a landmark welcome to the town of Shepparton.
Images via John Gollings