A heritage experience inside a popular visitor attraction.

The tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia stands on the south-westerly extremes of the continent. Inside the interpretive centre in the Lightkeeper’s Cottage at Cape Leeuwin, the past is present and old stories are brand new.

Gibson International was invited by the Margaret River and Busselton Tourism Association to design and install the centre within the heritage-listed Lightkeeper’s Cottage. We collaborated closely from concept through to installation – researching, writing, planning spatial design and experience design.

Our resulting four exhibitions use distinct presentation approaches, from a traditional museum exhibition experience, to interactive touchscreens and a large-scale animated film – each honouring the lighthouse’s heritage and the people who lived there. Each space weaves a story around the long days and nights of a lightkeeper’s career, immersing the visitor in the remote experiences of work and family life.

Alongside the creation of the interpretive panels, interactive displays, and multimedia design, we tested and built the physical elements with a fabricator before final assembly and integration with show-control systems.

Our role

  • Narrative approach
  • Spatial design
  • Object and artefact curation
  • Digital and multimedia design
  • Graphic design
  • Fabrication and installation

A seaside immersive experience

Since 1979, Cape Leeuwin has attracted tourists to its beautiful coastal site. The restoration of three original cottages served as a springboard to add further value to the visitor attraction.

The Lightkeeper’s Cottage weaves stories, themes, artefacts and the past together in a free-flowing immersive experience. The four rooms of the cottage balance heritage objects and ‘hero’ displays with dynamic digital and multimedia experiences. Panels hang like picture frames, and a false wall embedded with digital portraits of past residents springs to life as visitors approach.

Visitors step back in time as they travel through the interpretive centre. A soundscape recreates ambient life, with virtual children playing outside the windows while salty sea air wafts through the building.

Gibson International collaborated with

Anderson Design Ltd (NZ), and MHW Integration (AUS)

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