The Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery is the second oldest museum in Australia and its collection mandate is the most diverse of any in the country. Its campus at Constitution Dock on Hobart’s waterfro...
The Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery is the second oldest museum in Australia and its collection mandate is the most diverse of any in the country. Its campus at Constitution Dock on Hobart’s waterfront includes a rich collection of heritage buildings including the Commissariat Store (1808-10), the Private Secretary’s Cottage (1815) and Custom House (1902).
The scheme interweaves heritage buildings, new contemporary elements and archaeology to create a rich and unique experience for visitors. A series of new elements have been integrated into the existing heritage fabric to create a coherent museum complex.
A new louvred and glass roof is suspended on fine timber columns to enclose the central courtyard. The intentional randomness of the columns within the courtyard allude to the trees of the original waterfront landscape while the multi-layered timber louvre, steel and glazed roof reinterprets the tree canopies and provide environmental control of the courtyard space underneath.
The operable curved timber louvres on the underside of the roof enable natural light to be manipulated at different times of the day and throughout the year, transforming the character of light and shade in the courtyard.
Two new box-like timber volumes are carefully placed in relation to the heritage elements. The first frames the new entrance into the courtyard with a café underneath the suspended volume and a gallery/lecture space above. The second box is locked into position between the Private Secretary’s Cottage courtyard and street-front opening out to Sullivans Cove and connects the extensive new gallery spaces with the public waterfront.
These suspended timber forms are akin to fine jewellery boxes protecting their contents, and along one side a series of spiral wood louvres behind glass rotate to reveal Hobart’s waterfront.