Not for profit organisation FermenTasmania has received $7.5 million in federal funding to build a world-first Fermentation Hub in northern Tasmania.

Designed in collaboration with Cumulus and SLBA Studio, the 1,800-square-metre building located 10km northwest of Launceston will support local fermentation start-ups – producing anything from cheese to alcoholic beverages – by providing low-cost access to specialised equipment, research and education.

FermenTasmania’s new Fermentation Hub will house both production and laboratory facilities and aims to be an agri-tourism attraction, with the building’s functional and flexible design engaging with, and providing an immersive experience to visitors with visible fermentation vessels, equipment pipes and production zones.

The facade has been playfully lifted on the corners of the building to give passers-by a glimpse into the inner workings of the hub. The roof, which follows the alternating contours of the facade, creates a second level housing specialised plant equipment necessary for the different fermentation processes.

“Our collaboration with FermenTas has been essential to solving the complexities of the space, which needed to house highly prescribed production processes while still providing an accessible and engaging public face,” Cumulus associate and architect Jet O’Rourke explained.

“As the site lies along the West Tamar Highway, we had to consider a design that would invite curiosity from people driving by. The shifting facade lifts the veil on the traditional ’big shed’ structure, opening the space and connecting the interior to the landscape, which was designed in collaboration with SBLA Studio,” O’Rourke added.

The landscape design draws in people from the highway with sculptural planting that references moulds, yeast cultures and bacteria, as if viewed under a microscope. Visitors will walk among plantings that look like champagne bubbles, paving patterns that represent bacteria on an agar plate, and productive garden areas where they can source native and exotic plants to feed into the fermentation production process inside.

“We worked closely with FermenTas and botanist Pippa French, who will continue to collaborate with us on how the landscape can celebrate the wonder that is occurring within the building,” SBLA Studio creative director Simone Bliss said.

Construction of the facility will begin this year with completion scheduled for 2022.

Image supplied by SBLA Studio