Yitpi Yartapuultiku Cultural Centre

Designed in conjunction with Ashley Halliday Architects, Yitpi Yartapuultiku (the ‘Soul of Port Adelaide’) is located on Yerta Bulti, the Port River. The project is a place for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to be immersed in Aboriginal culture, to promote a deeper understanding and respect for Country.

Kaurna culture is embedded into the landscape and architecture of the site. Trails, storylines, and local cultural references are represented, including Tiilbruke, Taltaityai, Lartelare, the Mudlangga to Yertabulti track, and various animal totems.

All trails arrive at the ‘joining place’, a central place at the heart of the project. The building form is prised apart to form a sheltered space. At the same time, the separated building creates framed views of the river and the hills.

A unique co-design process was used that focused on yarning and modelling with kinetic sand to allow the custodian groups to shape the site with their own hands, explore land forms, build mounds, and form the site’s edges. This approach enabled everyone to discuss how cultural practices and narratives could be expressed, overlaid, and embedded into the project design.

The project has been awarded two PIA SA Awards for Planning Excellence in 2022 – a Ministers Award & Planning With Country Award. It was also showcased at the 2023 International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale Di Venezia, in the open archive of the Australian Pavilion ‘Unsettling Queenstown’.

Currently under construction, it is expected to be open to the public in early 2025.



Discover more about the project

  • Location: Port Adelaide, SA
  • Project: Aboriginal Cultural Centre
  • Client: City of Port Adelaide Enfield
  • Completion: Under Construction
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Country: Kaurna