Ninney Rise, Workshop 1, July 1-14, 2019 

Collaboratively approaching a pavilion responding to Ellison Reef and the story of Ninney Rise.

The first Phantom Dwellings Workshop (July 1-14, 2019) is a masterclass located on the Cassowary Coast in Northern Queensland.


During the two-week course, both architecture students and professionals are invited to a structured curriculum of semi-autonomous in-situ study by internationally-renowned architect Josep Ferrando and Terrain land management professional  Anthony O’Malley.


Together, we will collaboratively approach an architectural pavilion of cultural, artistic and historic significance in response to the story of Ellison Reef and Ninney Rise in Bingil Bay, North Queensland. 


This masterclass will provide a learning experience in decolonial architectural methodologies, post-disaster development responses, and contribute to tourism, economic development, resilience, community building, and reconciliation in Bingil Bay and Mission Beach, with ripple effects flowing on to the greater Cassowary Coast region.


The masterclass is part of a wider collaboration which will see three architectural pavilions draw attention to its history and significance on an ongoing basis.


Meet the Facilitator: Josep Ferrando

Josep Ferrando Bramona is a Barcelona-based architect who graduated from the Barcelona School of Architecture in 1990.

Among his constructed works are Individual Housing projects, for example the house in Bescanó which was a finalist in the Architecture Biennale, and another house in Tiana.


In Collective Housing he recently won the first European Prize for his proposal for Cerdanyola del Vallès, and he has also worked on social housing projects in different European cities including Milan. Moreover, he has designed many projects for Health, Cultural and Educational facilities. Outstanding in this area of his work is the Salt Police Station, the Rovira i Virgili University Campus in Tortosa and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) Postgraduate Studies Building for the Barcelona Campus. He has also worked on proposals for Public Space, as well as in Interior and Product design, where his own office space stands out as an example.

Moreover, he has simultaneously engaged in a widely recognised teaching career since 1998, mainly at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) but also in the La Salle Engineering and Architecture School, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED), and Eina, the Escola de disseny i art (School of Design and Art) in Barcelona. He has also been a visiting lecturer at the Hochschule für Technik Zürich (HSZT), the Escola da Cidade in Sao Paulo, and the Universidade Positivo (UNICENP) Curitiba.


Where: Bingil Bay, North Queensland, Australia

Ninney Rise

"The white house stood on its own cliff, the rainforest behind it, and in front the satin shine of blue water stretching away to where the reefs of lime lay hidden. It was the traditional Australian country house, a core of rooms surrounded by wide verandahs, with a roof like a shady hat pulled down over the lot ... Busst had built it ... [as] a fortress, built of brick and reinforced concrete to outlast the cyclones which periodically smashed into this coast... [explaining] ... 'I am not interested in making anything that won't last for a thousand years.' We stepped off the verandah ... into a room with ceiling lined in a sort of bamboo parquetry." - Patricia Clare, 1960s

Ninney Rise is a site of immense cultural heritage significance in North Queensland, Australia. It was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register on 6 August 2010.

The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland's history.

Ninney Rise is significant as the base from which the artist and environmentalist John Busst organized the "Save the Reef" and other important environmental campaigns during the 1960s and early 1970s. Set within the landscape being fought for, it was a meeting place for the campaigners and scientists involved with him in these efforts and became a focal point for all their struggles. These deeply contentious campaigns were supported by local and international scientists and aimed to protect the Great Barrier Reef and the area's tropical rainforests from development and mining pressures. As influential in the formation of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and to the eventual declaration of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, these campaigns demonstrate the history of Queensland's environmental conservation movement with Busst's home at Bingil Bay a key place associated with this activism.

The place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

Ninney Rise, its park-like grounds within a strikingly beautiful area of coastal lowland rainforest and the property's views to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area have great aesthetic significance. The outlook from the place takes in this marine environment, which is now recognised for the outstanding natural universal values that John Busst fought to protect during the 1960s before these values had been widely recognised and appreciated.

The place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland's history.

A home and a focal point for the early environmental conservation movement in Queensland, Ninney Rise is closely associated with the artist and eco-campaigner John Busst who designed and built it in c. 1960. He worked intimately with the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Queensland Littoral Society (Australian Marine Conservation Society) and the Queensland Wildlife Preservation Society in the campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef. Busst's environmental activism illustrated his transition from being an artist interested in the aesthetics of nature to a conservationist promoting the ecological reasons to conserve the natural environment. The inscription on the memorial to John Busst near Ninney Point reflects his appreciation for art, nature and conservation.


Course Themes and Methodologies

This course will aim to provide an immersive two week experience for students, in which they are provided with a hands on introduction to a number of key themes at the forefront of current architectural approaches.


Key themes and learning outcomes of the two week course include:

  • The paradoxes of regional development for economic and cultural empowerment 

  • Decolonial and participatory design principles

  • Djiru stories of country and traditional building practices, including weaving traditions

  • Whole-of-life methodologies in response to Büsst's 'thousand-year house' 

  • Strategies for interdisciplinary collaboration through the idea that architecture begins elsewhere than architecture

  • Techniques of collaborative design and construction

  • Disaster resilience and environmental architecture in cyclone areas

  • Comparative anthropological approaches to patrimonio in the spanish-speaking world and heritage in the anglophone world

  • Community engagement in placemaking

For further reading on the Tectonic approach of Josep Ferrando, see this recent interview here about his latest ephemeral work.



A detailed curriculum and schedule will be released in the weeks prior to the Masterclass. 

General Information - Pricing and Conditions

The Ninney Rise Masterclass 2019 is open to all participants but the course is best suited to final year architecture students and professional architects. Interdisciplinary practitioners, including from land management and natural science backgrounds, are also strongly encouraged to apply. 

Download the Student Course Guide here: 

2 0 1 9   A P P L I C A T I O N S - D E A D L I N E S   A N D   FEES

The application deadline for the 14 Day Masterclass  (July 1 - July 14) is May 7, 2019 

Basic: 14-Day Masterclass (excl. accomodation and food) $2,750 plus $275 GST = $3,025

This basic fee includes shuttle from Cairns Airport to Bingil Bay, learning materials, workshops with Traditional Owners, and all field excursions, including to Dunk Island, Bedara Island, Wet Tropics Rainforest and Ellison Reef, where there is the option to do a diving certificate. It also includes three dinners for scheduled group evenings. 

If looking for your own accomodation, please book in advance as July is peak season. We recommend AirBnB, or for a more thrifty option, there is also a number of caravan parks in the area, such as the Tropical Hibiscus Caravan Park which has affordable cabins and lodgings that can be for single or multiple visitors. 

Inclusive: 14-Day Masterclass (incl. accomodation and food) $3,750 plus $385 GST= $4,125 (recommended) 


This inclusive fee includes shuttle from Cairns Airport to Bingil Bay, quality accomodation for the duration of the masterclass, all lunches and dinners, learning materials, workshops with Traditional Owners, and all field excursions, including to Dunk Island, Bedara Island, Wet Tropics Rainforest and Ellison Reef, where there is the option to do a diving certificate. We strongly encourage the inclusive option because July is peak season in Mission Beach, and our accomodation and food is calculated at the best quality/economical price, so that participants are comfortable and close to the workshop sites.

E A R L Y   P A Y M E N T   T U I T I O N   D I S C O U N T S

If you apply and are accepted to join the Ninney Rise Masterclass, you can pay your tuition in full by April 30 and receive a $250 discount. 

A P P L I C A T I O N   O V E R V I E W

Applications are first-come, first-serve. We will only accept 25 students per Masterclass.


We advise that you apply as soon as you have decided that you want to attend the Ninney Rise Masterclass to assure your reservation.


Please send us a personal letter that includes the following:


  • Full Name

  • Address

  • University or Professional Affiliation and Year

  • Age

  • Hometown

  • E-mail

  • Phone Number


In your letter, tell us a bit about who are you in a paragraph, describing your experience thus far as a student of architecture, landscape architecture, design or other discipline. In a second paragraph, tell us about why you want to attend the Ninney Rise Masterclass, and how you would be able to pursue your interests there.


All application materials should be sent as one e-mail (the personal letter as the body of the e-mail -- and as an attachment transcripts, photo, and resume).


The subject line of your application should read NR Masterclass Application.


Send your application to:


Once you send your application you will be notified via e-mail within one week indicating if you have been accepted or not.  Once you have been accepted, you will be given instructions regarding tuition payment.


A $500 deposit is due within one week of acceptance.



All NR Masterclass participants must provide their own health insurance, and documentation of coverage is required before attending.

A P P L I C A T I O N   C H E C K  L I S T

  • Passport Scan

  • Transcripts

  • Resume or CV

  • Proof of Insurance

  • Recent Color Photo


P A Y M E N T   M E T H O D S

Please contact to discuss payment method options.​​

R E F U N D   A N D   L O D G I N G   P O L I C I E S


Partial Refunds may only be offered in the case of personal medical emergency or catastrophic injury as documented by a local physician or hospital.

Partial Refunds are offered solely at the discretion of Masterclass Program Manager. 

Family members and friends are not able to stay in the accomodation booked for participants. 

The Ninney Rise Masterclass is an independent learning exercise. 


Australian-Latin American Stewardships (ALAS)


Australian-Latin American Stewardships is a platform and network for knowledge exchange generated through the intercultural work of Phantom Dwellings and its partners and participants.

Join ALAS through our community site at Somos21