Location

Hobart

Client

University of Tasmania

Year

2022

Images

Adam Gibson

Land of

muwinina

Melville Street

A new interior for the University of Tasmania balances history and contemporary design.

Our refurbishment and fit-out of this three-storey building has reshaped a Georgian-era warehouse into a modern multipurpose space for both public and staff. Rather than obscure or confuse the history of the Hobart building, our design makes an honest distinction between old and new.

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Treating the old

The 1800s warehouse had been altered several times since it was first constructed, often in ways that neglected the building’s historical values. We restored this connection by retaining and exposing what was left of the original building and repairing and patching fabric that was in poor condition. The stripped back heritage space created a backdrop for new architectural elements.

Defining the new

To make the modern elements feel obviously new, we exposed and framed remnants of history like patches of traditional plasterwork or ceiling rafters. In the meeting room, the raw brickwork and historic sprinkler system contrasts with contemporary lighting, acoustic panelling and joinery. Elsewhere, we framed  heritage windows with traditional mouldings, while new windows gained crisp, clean reveals.

Modern classics

Georgian rooms tend to be very simple, without any fuss or ornament. When a space is this clean cut, anything like furniture becomes a feature in itself. To reference this history, we chose contemporary furniture that suited being elevated in the space.

 

Stained Tasmanian timber joinery is a contemporary interpretation of the original Georgian features and has a certain gravitas juxtaposed with the rest of our material palette. Its consistency subtly connects the warehouse’s three separate floors, the public foyer as well as public and private meeting rooms. 

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Praxis Environment
Bluestar
C&C
FVS Mechanical
FVS Construction
Pitt and Sherry
Focussed Fire
Acoustic Works

MELVILLE STREET

Stripped-back Georgian heritage and specialist stonemasonry.

A sympathetic restoration shaped by modern tastes.

Contrast and balance, tradition and modernity. Just what a family home needs. We responded to Symmons Plains’ significance in Tasmania’s history while curating a contemporary home for the new custodians - a family of seven.

We aimed to reveal the richness of the stories that came before. Colonist John Arndell Youl built Symmons Plains in 1839 with a structure crafted using early Australian settlement techniques. Youl famously introduced the brown trout to Australia. His family lived at Symmons for seven generations until it was bought in 2011. When we demolished the building’s original concrete, it revealed an eclectic mix of bed springs and old fencing added for reinforcement; a history of its own. It felt exciting to arrive at an answer for open, contemporary living within a building essentially the antithesis of that.

2020

Tasmanian Architecture Awards

Colorbond Steel Architecture - Commendation

2020

Tasmanian Architecture Awards

Residential Architecture

Location

Hobart

Client

University of Tasmania

Year

2022

Images

Adam Gibson

Land of

muwinina

Treating the old

The 1800s warehouse had been altered several times since it was first constructed, often in ways that neglected the building’s historical values. We restored this connection by retaining and exposing what was left of the original building and repairing and patching fabric that was in poor condition. The stripped back heritage space created a backdrop for new architectural elements.

Defining the new

To make the modern elements feel obviously new, we exposed and framed remnants of history like patches of traditional plasterwork or ceiling rafters. In the meeting room, the raw brickwork and historic sprinkler system contrasts with contemporary lighting, acoustic panelling and joinery. Elsewhere, we framed  heritage windows with traditional mouldings, while new windows gained crisp, clean reveals.

Modern classics

Georgian rooms tend to be very simple, without any fuss or ornament. When a space is this clean cut, anything like furniture becomes a feature in itself. To reference this history, we chose contemporary furniture that suited being elevated in the space.

 

Stained Tasmanian timber joinery is a contemporary interpretation of the original Georgian features and has a certain gravitas juxtaposed with the rest of our material palette. Its consistency subtly connects the warehouse’s three separate floors, the public foyer as well as public and private meeting rooms.  

+

Praxis Environment
Bluestar
C&C
FVS Mechanical
FVS Construction
Pitt and Sherry
Focussed Fire
Acoustic Works