Hobart’s newest creative arts precinct — The Hedberg — was the result of an eight year design process undertaken by the Hobart-based Liminal Studio and Singaporean practice WOHA.
The precinct comprises three buildings of old and new proportions: the Theatre Royal (constructed in 1837), the Hedberg Garage (completed in 1926), and a brand new six-storey building devised by the two studios. Many of the facilities of the existing buildings have been updated, with many existing elements reused and exposed in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint of the project while heightening the understanding of place.
The new building has been constructed in order to further creative studies at the University of Tasmania. The Hedberg is now home to the majority of creative students’ tertiary endeavours, with the state of the art facility ensuring the university has a space for the creative faculties for decades to come.
The design created for the precinct by WOHA aimed to utilise contemporary materials that would fit seamlessly amongst the historical fabric. Each level of the Theatre Royal is connected via the main atrium and cascading foyers. The facade of The Hedberg, devised almost entirely of aluminium cladding, references stage curtains and musical notation.
A direct reference to the traditional gathering spaces of the local First Nations peoples, the public foyers are layered with rich red and yellow rugs crafted by Indigenous Tasmanian artist Michelle Maynard. A Tasmanian Blackwood timber ceiling intertwines with old bricks, coin pieces and pottery within the walls to form an unvarnished yet warm textural palette throughout the interior.
A rooftop garden located at the peak of The Hedberg offers views of the Hobart waterfront and subsequent hospitality offerings.