Lakeside Visitor Centre awarded honour at 2022 International Architecture Awards in Chicago

 Friday, August 12, 2022 

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The newly built Lakeside Visitor Centre at Victoria’s world-famous Puffing Billy Railway has been awarded the highest honour at the 2022 International Architecture Awards in Chicago overnight.

The state-of-the-art centre has taken out the prestigious global award for Best New International Architecture for 2022 – announced by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

Backed by a $12.7 million investment from the Labor Government, the Lakeside Visitor Centre is a centerpiece of the Puffing Billy Railway – visited by thousands each year.

Designed by TERROIR Architects, the Lakeside Visitor Centre celebrates the rich history of the century-old heritage steam railway through a collection of steam-era artifacts and an immersive multimedia experience.

Since it’s opening in December last year the Centre has drawn more people to the heart of the Dandenong Ranges and boasts a range of dining options featuring seasonal local produce, as well as a hi-tech function space to host workshops, conferences, events and school excursions.

The International Architecture Awards are one of the oldest and most prestigious distinguished global building awards program that honours new and cutting-edge design worldwide.

An international jury of distinguished designers selected over 150 submissions from a shortlist of over 650 projects.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos said that Puffing Billy is a world-class attraction that draws thousands of visitors a year to Victoria, now made better with the addition of a state-of-the-art Visitor Centre that will draw even more visitors to the Dandenong Ranges. They are proud to have backed this development, which has supported jobs growth and businesses across the region.

The Member for Monbulk James Merlino said that Puffing Billy is more than just a train ride – the Visitor Centre has ensured that this much-loved attraction has the world-class facilities it needs to continue to be a significant tourism drawcard for the region into the future.

The Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said that attracting the visitors from near and far, Puffing Billy is a local much-loved icon that has continued to capture hearts for generations – the Lakeside Visitor Centre is a beautiful new draw card that is loved by locals and tourists alike.

Puffing Billy Railway CEO Peter Abbott said that they are honoured to receive this prestigious award, which has been a labour of love for so many of us, including the teams at TERRIOR Architects and Kane Constructions. This is accolade not only celebrates the creation of our world-class visitor centre, but also helps put Puffing Billy on the global stage.

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