Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Port Adelaide poses acoustics puzzle

Announcing a new project commencement we are working on as environmental noise consultants

Resonate Consultants are truly privileged to have started working with and supporting the local Aboriginal community in delivering the welcomed Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Port Adelaide that will be available for a number of important uses.

City of Port Adelaide Enfield— in conjunction with local Elders and Aboriginal community— are creating a significant space to continue to honour their commitment to preserving our cultural heritage.

In particular, stories, people, memories, events and traditions, as well as landscapes and places that are of significance to our community.

It will be placed in Western Region Reserve, which offers direct access to Port River and with an aim to nurture the integral interaction with the natural environment. Complete with and cooking and gathering spaces, it will have a very strong focus on predominantly outdoor usage.

The intention of the Centre will be to foster:

  • employment opportunities
  • a deeper understanding of First Nations culture
  • more visitors and tourists to the area
  • the land’s spiritual significance
  • an activity hub that includes dance, arts and other events and
  • a contact base for consultation with Elders

‘The Centre will be unique, catering for Aboriginal people seeking to share, learn and practice culture and creating a welcoming place for non-Aboriginal visitors to learn about Aboriginal culture and the rich history of the region.’

Not your ordinary acoustics project

environmental noise consultants aboriginal cultural centre

Location of the Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Image credit: City of Port Adelaide Enfield

The priority of the centre is what the Kaurna Elders want and need from it, and we understand that it’s not so much about the building but about the land. It’s about the connection of the building to the land, how the land will be used and the relationship that people have to the land. This meant it is a little different from our usual projects where the building acoustic control in buildings is prioritised.


Due to the requirement to keep it an open and welcoming space and have minimal, if any, fencing and barriers, the site potentially has a greater exposure to noise.

Surprisingly, general suburban foliage doesn’t contribute greatly to reducing impact and noise levels, despite common misconceptions. Which is another factor to be taken in to account when it comes to the landscaping for better acoustics and offering advice as environmental noise consultants. And it means the area can’t just be shielded by a whole lot of lovely plants and trees.

‘It’s a tricky site in terms of acoustics because it has the rail to the north, major roads to the south and east, and it could be problematic as most of the activities and uses will take place outdoors. We are very excited to be part of this project to work with the land and the team to achieve an appropriate environment for this iconic development,’ Deb James, Director of Innovation, Resonate Consultants.

This unique challenge will be addressed using landscaping and mounding to mitigate and control as much external noise as possible.

Additionally, the acoustic building design and position will come into play to make the most of natural sound barriers and help control some of that noise. And it’s likely that the entry and the car park will be between the road and the building for this reason. Meaning that the building will be the background, in a non-intrusive way, making the land the prominent feature.

Watch Uncle Lewis O’Brien discuss the new centre:

We’re going to keep you updated with this meaningful project, but we wanted to announce our involvement early on so you can be kept in the loop of the exceptional things happening in Adelaide and surrounds. You can stay on top of such projects by signing up for our enewsletter.

No matter how unique your project is, our respectful environmental noise consultants can offer top tier advice.

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