As part of our ongoing work work with Fremantle Prison, we were instrumental in developing a comprehensive new interpretive visitor centre titled “The Convict Depot.”

Working in partnership with prison curatorial and interpretive staff, archaeologists and Philip Griffiths heritage architects to develop a world class visitor experience in the form of a permanent interpretive centre – The Convict Depot.

The interpretive centre is housed in the old guard facilities and in the initial stages of the restoration a vaulted brick cellar was discovered underneath a concrete slab. Archaeological work was then undertaken and a re-think of the floorplan and use of the interpretive centre then was required.

Our design concept built upon the signage strategy we had already created for the prison. The materials selection and installation methodology also minimised fixing points into the original fabric, custom built glass artefact cases are integrated units that ‘slide’ into place to ensure the work can be easily reversible. Where appropriate we have utilised glass as a transparent medium, one layer imparts the interpretive message without obscuring the original heritage fabric of the site.

Visitors are fully immersed in the convict experience, surrounded and guided by a combination of didactic panels, supergraphics and interactive touchscreens.

A hierarchal design platform was carefully developed to form the foundation of each interpretive display to ensure the content spoke to both children and adult visitors alike.

The culmination of over two years work of a talented multi-disciplinary team of heritage architects, interpretation managers, historians, curators, designers, artists and multimedia consultants.

As testament to collaboration and sharing of ideas to achieve an outstanding project outcome, it received a 2012 City of Fremantle Heritage Award in the “Conservation and/or interpretation” category.