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Junkyard design plays right tunes for festival
Junkyard design plays right tunes for festival

Rusty water pipes, a Hills Hoist, an outdoor dunny and half an old model Holden Barina.

The ramshackle collection sounds like what you might find in an unkempt Australian suburban backyard but it is the fountain and centrepiece to the Perth International Arts Festival's impressive new contemporary music hub, the Festival Gardens.

Part of the bar is made out of the original pipe from C.Y. O'Connor's Goldfields pipeline, which opened in 1903, while corrugated iron, warped doors and window frames have been transformed into the walls of the 1600-capacity venue on the old WA Museum site in Northbridge.

The junkyard aesthetic comes courtesy of venue designer Joey Ruigrok van der Werven, a Sydney-based Dutchman with a knack of turning discarded items into objet d'art. "Almost everything is second-hand or recycled," Mr van der Werven said of his steam-punk inspired creation.

Working in their Northam workshops to Mr van der Werven's specifications, Water Corporation engineers refashioned spare parts from WA's freshwater pipelines for the Festival Gardens.

The event's contemporary music associate Jo Metcalf described the Festival Gardens as quintessentially Australian. "I think once it's finished, it's going to feel like a really good party in someone's backyard in Perth," she said.

Chart-topping US alternative rockers Death Cab for Cutie's two gigs at Festival Gardens are the only shows to date to have sold out.