Arts and Design

Tasmanian talent and world-renowned architects to build new campuses

Image courtesy of UTAS

A partnership that brings together top Tasmanian architectural talent and one of Australia’s most celebrated architectural practices will design the University of Tasmania’s new campuses in Burnie and Launceston.

The internationally renowned John Wardle Architects (JWA) has been appointed as the principal consultant for the Northern Transformation project. JWA will partner with three Tasmanian practices founded and run by University of Tasmania alumni: Room11, 1+2 Architecture and Philp Lighton Architects.

The Northern Transformation is a $300 million project that will see new campuses built at West Park in Burnie and Inveresk in Launceston in a partnership between the University and local, state and federal governments.

University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said the appointment of the architects marked an exciting stage for the project as the promise of a transformative new presence for education in two of the State’s northern cities begins to be realised.

“This is truly a partnership of great talents – Room11 and John Wardle Architects were the only Australian practices invited to exhibit at the International Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2018,” Professor Black said.

“As a team, these architects bring world-leading skills and expertise and a local focus and shared passion for Tasmania.”

JWA is based in Melbourne but has strong links to Tasmania. The practice worked with the University to design the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies on Hobart’s waterfront, and John’s property on Bruny Island is home to two projects – the Shearers Quarters and Captain Kelly’s Cottage – that have won major architectural prizes at the state, national and international level.

JWA has worked on a number of large-scale tertiary education projects, including the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne and the Learning and Teaching Building at Monash University.

JWA has collaborated with both Room11 and 1+2 Architecture on major projects in the past. With Room11, they put together a proposal for the redevelopment of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, and with 1+2 Architecture, they developed the master plan for Macquarie Point in Hobart.

“Our practice has very strong connections to Tasmania, and we are excited to once again work with Room11 and 1+2 Architecture, studios that highlight the significant design talent on the island,” John Wardle said.

“We look forward to working with the communities in the North and the North West as we develop ideas that will identify these campuses as vibrant student environments, with a strong sense of place, and that are intimately connected to the landscape that surrounds them.”

In a sign of the strength of the University’s architecture program, the key directors and architects from the local practices working on the project are all University of Tasmania alumni.

Director Thomas Bailey and Megan Baynes are with Room11, a practice known internationally for its refined residential architecture and public architecture such as GASP! (the Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park), which won national awards.

“We are extremely excited to be part of such a key transformation project for the northern region of Tasmania,” Mr Bailey said.

“Our firm is deeply connected to landscape, and we look forward to making an extraordinary built contribution that connects people, culture and place.”

Cath Hall and Fred Ward are founding directors of 1+2 Architecture with 25 years of experience in local, national and international architecture, including residential and public projects, which have won numerous awards.

“1+2 Architecture is delighted by the opportunity to contribute to this exciting and significant Tasmanian project and to once again be collaborating with John Wardle Architects,” Mr Ward said.

“We greatly look forward to working with the communities of northern Tasmania and the University to deliver architecture that will transform and inspire.”

Thomas Floyd is an architect with Philp Lighton Architects, a commercial practice that has designed public buildings across Tasmania, from school and university buildings to hospital and stadium developments.

Professor Black said community and stakeholder engagement during the detailed design phase would be crucial to the success of the new campuses.

“This is an enormously important development for northern Tasmania. It has been a united effort to move from an idea to a fully funded development, and we are grateful for the support we’ve had from local government across the north of the State, and the State and federal governments.

“We aim to do much more than simply build new buildings for our staff and students.

“We want to create truly special places that resonate with the broader community and that they feel ownership of, spaces that help us to lift educational attainment and to grow economic, cultural and social wellbeing.

“The University and our architects will be taking a co-design approach so that our community can have input on how we shape our new campuses and the educational, cultural and economic precincts in which they will sit.”

Building on the consultation work with stakeholders and the community over recent years, the co-design process will see a range of opportunities to provide input to the final detailed designs.

Development applications for West Park in Burnie and Inveresk in Launceston are scheduled to be lodged by October 2018 and the end of 2018 respectively.

Source: UTAS

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