The Hedberg

MERIT AWARD

Award Category: Institutional Projects

Architecture Firm:

WOHA Architects Pte Ltd with LIMINAL Architecture

Project Architect:

Richard Hassell

Year Completed:

2022

Builder Firm:

Hansen Yuncken

Located in the heart of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, The Hedberg's vision is to present a culturally significant performing and creative arts destination that fuels Tasmania’s cultural offering in a global and contemporary context.

The design strategy is to balance the theatrics of the building’s purpose and sensitivity to its context. The concept of physical and virtual portals is employed to explore the interconnectivity of place, people and new technologies.

In line with the clients’ brief, The Hedberg co-locates with the oldest operating theatre in Australia, the Theatre Royal, with contemporary, world-class music and performance venues, a new home for the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music, creative workshop laboratories with front and back of house support spaces. It integrates the two-storey Hedberg Garage and adds accessibility to all levels of the Theatre Royal and incorporates cutting-edge technologies facilitating local and global exchange.

The Hedberg development adds a contemporary layer that reinterprets the past and ensures the heritage buildings that abut and exist on the site experience longevity through adaptive reuse, conservation, interpretation and revelation to create a deepened understanding of the site’s history.

Material selection and building form address the context of the site and evoke a sense of the activities taking place within. One such example is the use of glass to both connect and separate the new with the old and to integrate the front section of the heritage Hedberg Garage. Another example is the external skin of the building, which evokes a shimmering and sparkling theatrical curtain being pulled open to reveal the warmth of activities within.

The story of place and interconnectivity is continued at a smaller scale with design elements inspired by Eduardo Chillida’s interlocking sculptures, the opalescence of the Tasmanian abalone shell and the minimalist and dancing forms found in musical notation.

Jury Citation

The co-location of the historic Theatre Royal with the new The Hedberg - a contemporary performance and creative arts centre is complex on many levels. The design team had to contend with issues of history, context, connectivity, as well as stack numerous column-free performance venues into a tight site completed with front and back-of-house support spaces. The resultant massing is a composition of buildings that balances the dynamism and expressiveness required for an Arts Venue while being sensitive to its location. Material selection and building form address the context of the site, evoke a sense of the activities within and reveal curated views through portals of differing sizes. The Hedberg is a dynamic and iconic performing and creative arts destination that fuels Tasmania’s cultural offering in a global and contemporary context.