The new Maclean Showground pavilion.
The new Maclean Showground pavilion.

EXCLUSIVE: First look inside showground pavilion

STANDING high atop the Maclean Showground since 1900, it took a freak storm just minutes to blow down history in January 2018.

In its place now, though is a modern building that pays tribute to its origins, while opening up possibilities and views to the river and showground.

The redevelopment of the showground pavilion is complete, and Clarence Valley Council manager of Open Spaces and Facilities Peter Birch took The Daily Examiner for a tour through the new pavilion.

First look at new Maclean Showground Pavilion: After a storm blew down the historic building in 2018, take your first look through the revamped modern building.
First look at new Maclean Showground Pavilion: After a storm blew down the historic building in 2018, take your first look through the revamped modern building.

“(The storm) moved the old main pavilion off its footings by around 600mm,” Mr Birch said. “So it got to the point where it had to be demolished.”

Council engaged Warren Steele to come up with a design for the building while consulting with stakeholders such as the show society and the Maclean Highland gathering.

“We wanted to look at different options, while taking advantage of the aspect and opportunities that this place provides … while at the same time we wanted to acknowledge the heritage of the building.”

Clarence Valley Council manager of open spaces Peter Birch inside the new Maclean Showground pavilion.
Clarence Valley Council manager of open spaces Peter Birch inside the new Maclean Showground pavilion.

There are nods to its past throughout, including an inverted exposed truss that Steele designed, using timber from the old pavilion, as well as features, windows and claddings from the original building. Other reclaimed material was sent to the Lawrence Museum to help continue their work.

Mr Birch said that in the consultation, each group had asked for features that would enable them to expand their offering at the pavilion.

“The Highland Gathering said that when it rains they were unable to hold the dancing competition, so we have a dance floor/stage area that they are able to use,” he said.

The pavilion is split by dividing and folding walls that allow it to be open for displays, or cut-up into sections for displays.

However, the defining feature of the new building is the open aspect to the showground and the river, which can be completely open through glass bi-fold doors.

Mr Birch said that it also allowed the building to be used for other purposes, such as receptions, meetings or corporate events.

“The groups here are really happy with it – they were ecstatic,” he said.

Additional works have fixed drainage issues and provided clear walkways as well as disabled access to the area.

The new Maclean Showground pavilion.
The new Maclean Showground pavilion.

Mr Birch said that the pavilion would soon be open for bookings, with the first major event scheduled to be the Highland Gathering.