Cr Greg Rogerson celebrates the official opening of Kenilorth's designer dunny with locals.
Cr Greg Rogerson celebrates the official opening of Kenilorth's designer dunny with locals.

Thanks for holding, the Designer Dunny is now open

THIS has been five years in the making but Kenilworth agrees the wait has well been worth it to officially launch its $600,000 Designer Dunny.

Certainly this arty public amenity is now doing the business for the township located as an eye-catching entry statement at Isaac Moore Park.

The final landscaping is now complete and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the end result is “a shared vision centred on Kenilworth’s reputation as a place that fosters the arts and creativity”.

“They wanted public art to be a drawcard that would enhance the experience of being in Kenilworth for both locals and visitors and I congratulate them on their commitment to seeing their idea through to reality,” Cr Jamieson said.

“Thanks to their hard work, what we see as a result, is a public amenity which is quite literally, a work of art.

“The amenities can be accessed via a ramp that also serves as a platform to view surrounding landscape and vistas.”

The winning design from the ‘Kenilworth Designer Dunny’ competition was chosen from almost 200 entries received from national and international entrants and is an unfinished basket reflecting an unfinished history.

The concept, entitled ‘Canistrum’, was designed by Maleny architectural illustrator and animator Michael Lennie.

Local Councillor Greg Rogerson, who was a member of the competition judging panel, and was pivotal in driving the project said he was extremely proud to see the outcome delivered after many years of work.

“Thinking outside the square has resulted in this outstanding facility. It’s art, a public toilet and marks the entrance to this great town,” Cr Rogerson said.

“Innovation is needed when it comes to attracting tourists to our rural communities, which have so much to offer travellers of all types.

“The designer dunny has certainly helped put Kenilworth on the map, and just as the design represents an unfinished history, the story of Kenilworth is very much unfinished as it continues to grow. I am confident there are many exciting new chapters yet to come.”

Fast facts:

  • Isaac Moore Park is at the entrance to Kenilworth on the Eumundi side of the Mary River Bridge. It is a pleasant place for travellers to pause for a break before exploring the beautiful hinterland or the Mary Valley. Visitors to the park can shelter in the shade of the trees or under a picnic shelter, cook lunch on the barbecue and examine the map of the hinterland’s attractions.
  • The Kenilworth community played an important role in the project and contributed to organising and judging the Kenilworth Designer Dunny competition. The winning design was selected from a field of almost 200 national and international entrants. The winning entry was Canistrum from Maleny-based architectural illustrator and animator Michael Lennie.
  • Michael Lennie describes Canistrum as “an unfinished basket reflecting an unfinished history”. The word “canistrum” is Latin for wicker basket.
  • This winning entry was selected by a judging panel which included well-respected architect John Mainwaring, Division 10 Councillor Greg Rogerson, South Australian sculptor Greg Johns, Sandy Conte, art consultant and curator Lynne Seear, and Shirley Moreland former President of Kenilworth Arts Council.
  • The site posed some interesting design challenges, with entrants having to design a structure that sits above the existing ground level to avoid the building being affected by seasonal flooding from the Mary River.
  • Council invested approximately $600,000 into this iconic, community-initiated project. In addition to providing required public amenities, the building is intended to create a sense of community pride and attract visitors to the town, providing a boost to the local economy.