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Combining the old with the new, big ben builders south West constructed a public building that would act as a new and multifunctional public facility on the iconic busselton foreshore. The clients wanted the building to be a focal point of the busselton Jetty Precinct, therefore the build needed to be of a high standard and incorporate quality architectural detailing, contemporary design and construction techniques that complement the existing buildings on the busselton foreshore.

Designed by bob bruce design and built by big ben builders south West, the old railway House building was revamped with a modern, tilt-panel design, along with the integration of recycled timbers from the original busselton jetty. The building is perfectly situated among some of busselton’s landmarks and flows seamlessly onto the busselton Jetty. it houses the busselton Visitors Centre and interpretive Centre, and is also home to the jetty train and busselton Jetty offices.
The build time was an astonishing five and a half months, and survived one of busselton’s wettest winters.

Big Ben builders south West is a boutique builder that specialises in everything from commercial developments and renovations to residential builds. As a small, family-owned business, the company always endeavours to cater to its clients’ individual needs. big ben builders south West prefers to work on only a few projects at a time, which allows the company to personally ensure the quality of each build.

Established more than 20 years ago by ben Heah, the company is growing rapidly, and was a finalist in the 2016 master builders-bankwest south-West building excellence Awards in the Commercial industrial buildings Alteration & Additions category. big ben builders south West has conducted renovations and extensions on some of busselton’s major landmarks, including the equinox restaurant, the st John Ambulance station in Augusta and the busselton golf Club house. specialising in a mixture of commercial and residential builds, as well as renovations, no job is too large or small for big ben builders south West.


Project 1



Built by Big Ben Builders Southwest and designed by Bob Bruce Design, the equinox cafe? brief primarily sought to make use of the existing expanse of the views of geographe bay and the iconic busselton jetty. the building is nestled among very large old g trees that form part of the waterfront experience and provides some much-needed shade from the summer sun.

The fig trees created challenges with their root systems, which don’t mix well with concrete footings. An intensive arborist report was required during pre-construction so the trees will remain healthy. An innovative raised gravel oor pruning system with adjustable supports was installed so the existing brick paving could remain.

A new entry was created fronting the street, while the use of natural stone, timber, glass and a raked cedar-lined ceiling unite to create the ‘wow’ factor when entering the restaurant. the view to the waterfront de nes why you want to dine at the equinox. natural light lters through from all directions and remains when the bi-fold doors are in use as two separate function rooms were utilised as part of the brief.

The restaurant extension to the north-facing jetty is a new structure with a vaulted ceiling to allow the use of glass in the gable for natural light and a view allowing the trees to frame this stunning backdrop. the extension opens out into the new alfresco area, which is encompassed by a low glass wall to provide shelter from any strong breeze in the cooler months. A new bar was created and the use of old busselton jetty timbers kindly provided by the City of busselton really enhances the aesthetic of combining old material with new material to create a rustic, historical look.

The alfresco adjoins the new takeaway dining area, which has high gabled ceilings and the use of the glass gable to enable natural light to lter through. A whole new takeaway kitchen was also created so the building can be split into separate businesses, with the restaurant on one side and the takeaway on the other side.

Overall, the building makes use of natural feature stone, feature limestone, old jetty timbers, jarrah window frames, cedar ceilings and a modern colour palette to complement its surrounds.