Location: Hobart, Tasmania
Date Completed: 2011
Awards: 2013 TASMANIA Architecture Award Urban Design

This project was a collaboration between Morris Nunn & Associates (architects) and SMTCJV (urban design and landscape design). The existing wharf shed presents an old and long-term dilemma for optimising Sullivans Cove’s potential as Hobart’s premier public realm. Its sheer size and solid materiality contribute to a sequence of disjointed, un-connected spaces between the Cove and Salamanca Place.

It was anticipated that there will be a high level of consensus for removal of some or all of the non-structural walls in order to open up views to the Cove from Salamanca.

However, a key conceptual issue for the future use profile and character of the building relates to its potential for transformation into an authentic public use and space.

Current thinking about the use of the building proposes a dilemma – How do we find new uses for this building. How do we “fill it up”?

The approach was to imagine the building as a monumentally scaled public loggia, akin to a great traditional European open market-place.  By opening up the walls and providing permanent public access, the building can transform into a sheltered, open multi-use space that is potentially available to the public for 365 days per year.  There could be small flexible facilities (cafes, bars) designed to sit under the upper roof canopy, public seating, barbeque facilities and a range of other ways for the space to be used in ambient, unstructured ways by everyone.

When events are scheduled, the facility is occupied and income-generative.  During adverse weather conditions and when necessary for security, the otherwise open walls would be closed.

 This strategy would have strong synergy with the issue of providing improved public amenity, shade and shelter in Sullivans Cove.