Stone Building Revitalisation


Former Locomotive Workshop

Revitalisation of the heritage listed Stone Building for the University of Tasmania at their Inveresk campus is part of the University’s $300M Northern Transformation project.

The dramatic Stone Building was originally a locomotive repair workshop built in the early 1920s. Working in collaboration with BVN Architecture, our design provides a vibrant blend of modern administrative, teaching, learning, gallery, collaboration, and amenities spaces within the envelope of the existing building, while maintaining its original industrial character.

Minimal external alterations allow a focus on internal refurbishment, achieving increased activation and showcasing the dramatic spaces within the building. Existing 50 tonne overhead cranes dating back to the days of the locomotive workshop and expansive concrete support trusses, create unique backdrops for surrounding spaces, both existing and new.

Where possible, large open floor plates and spaces such as ‘Stone Street’ are retained. New floor plates are only extended within existing voids to create additional area where needed and where they contribute to the spatial drama of the internal spaces. Minimal and sensitive external works recognise the historical and local attributes of the building’s exterior and of the broader precinct. This aids visual and physical connectivity with new and existing buildings in the precinct.

The project is ‘light-touch’ and ensures both physical and visual permeability is enhanced, while retaining the overall industrial ambience.

Stone Building Sustainability

An ambitious sustainability agenda was pursued, with the design considered against a ‘whole life carbon’ assessment methodology to achieve greater than 30% whole life carbon savings compared with a comparable new build. The research supporting this achievement is being made available to the University to underpin the carbon case for revitalisation of other existing heritage buildings. This approach to Environmentally Sustainable Design, with a strong carbon focus, puts the design work at the forefront of best practice and makes a positive contribution to the Tasmanian community with a carbon neutral built environment in mind.

Xsquared Architects is completing the work in two stages, with the initial phase now complete, and the final phase to be completed by the end of 2025 to coincide with the completion of other major components of the broader Northern Transformation project.

Photos by Natasha Mulhall