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Brendan Gaffney

Belinda Williamson

Brett Miles

Casey Vallance

Charlotte Churchill

Deanne Passenger

James Baker

Jonathan Kopinski

Lauren Hickling

Madeleine Webb

Megan MacKenzie

Samuel Hodgkinson

Stephen Gunn

Tahnee Sullivan

Australian Age of Dinosaurs

Remote Mesa, Winton

The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum is located on top of a remote mesa in outback far north Queensland.

Created as a visitor centre, the project aims to allow visitors to witness one of the world’s most significant and cohesive dinosaur collections.

Twelve years ago, a cattle grazier David Elliott accidentally stumbled on 100 million year old dinosaur fossils while mustering cattle. Since then, he has become Australia’s leading palaeontologist who has engaged Winton’s community in the excavating, assembly and conservation of large dinosaurs. Through these operations, Winton’s fragile farming economy has been transformed.

The COX team were enthralled by both the project and phenomenon, and agreed to design the museum pro-bono – with the Elliott family and community to build it. The driving force for the Centre was to capture the essence of the ancient landscape and for it to entice visitation with interesting forms and spaces.

David Elliot, Executive Chairman of Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum

The role of the AAOD Museum is to create an international destination in western QLD. A lot of work is put into the Museum’s look and identity so that it is instantly identifiable. The colours of the Jump-Up are reflected in the walls of the buildings which are coloured concrete stamped with latex mats that were made by painting latex onto the rock-surface of the Jump-Up. Corten steel and rock landscaping ensures that the buildings look like they belong to the Jump-Up. All the Museum’s buildings have followed this theme.

The building is designed to unfold from the mesa, tapering back down to it. It is composed of only two materials – multiple large interlocking precast concrete panels imbued with the texture and colour of the red earth, and hand-made perforated iron screens.

The architecture is inspired by the site’s deep rock fissures. Its plan is a journey from a narrow entry aperture to a spatial sequence that fans out to embrace the alluvial dinosaur plane below.

David Elliot, Executive Chairman of Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum

A lot of to-ing and fro-ing happens between our team at the Museum and COX to make sure that the buildings are practical and affordable without compromising their impact and aesthetic design.


State Award for Public Architecture, AIA QLD 2013
Queensland State Award, CCAA 2013
Kevin Cavanagh Medal for Excellence in Concrete, CIA 2013
Shortlisted in the World Architecture Festival 2012

Technical Information

Remote Mesa, Winton
Australian Age of Dinosaurs Ltd
Completed, 2008-2012
Key Consultants
Bligh Tanner, Cushway Blackford & Associates, Consulting Coordination
Woollam Constructions, Elliott Family
$710,000 (pro-bono)
Gross Floor Area
Christopher Fredrick Jones