The Outward Bound Centre in Temburong, Brunei, consists of two facilities, a Logistics Centre and an Operations Centre, located a few kilometres apart. Situated in the heart of a tropical forest beside the Temburong River, the Logistics Centre is reached by road, while the only access to the Operations Centre is via the river. The remoteness of the site and its limited access restricted the design vocabulary, which relied on prefabricated components with minimal wet construction on site.
The design is sensitive to the surrounding terrain. The buildings were fragmented as a series of pavilions with connecting walkways to avoid the felling of trees and to adjust to the existing contours of the site. An intelligent and creative interpretation of the programme has allowed the project to set an important precedent for the region in showing how traditional Malay architecture can be redefined for contemporary needs using a modern approach to design.
The design of the Outward Bound Centre is based on the concept of free-standing pavilions linked by decks. The accommodation is therefore fragmented as a series of units - a response that facilitates cross-ventilation and a loose spatial arrangement. The different units are independently accessed, except for the dormitories, which are reached through the dining or common facilities. Other buildings - such as the warden's office, the mini-hospital and the administration block in the Operations Centre - can be accessed separately from the landing point on the river.
A series of decks and staircases form a clear circulation system, onto which the various units are attached. The units are arranged in such a way that none is given extra prominence on the site (except because of its sheer size), implying a democratic hierarchy in the different functions. In fact, it is difficult to read the units' functions because they are all similar in character and are extremely loosely configured, suggesting great flexibility and a multiplicity of uses.