100 years after opening as a locomotive workshop, the Stone Building at Inveresk started another chapter in its life yesterday. University of Tasmania Vice Chancellor Rufus Black officially opened Stage One of this revitalisation project, which sees it adapted to become a modern work and teaching space for the university.
Minimal changes to the external and internal fabric preserve the industrial character of the building. New floors are inserted into voids within the building envelope and maintain sight lines throughout the voluminous structure. Respecting the heritage of the precinct and building was a key design driver, with retention of the existing 50 tonne overhead cranes and the expansive concrete support trusses remaining a focus for new and old spaces. As a nod to cutting edge contemporary structural design, the new floors are suspended from purpose-built steel trusses, as the ground’s load bearing capacity prevented use of additional foundations.
At the opening Minister for State Development, Construction and Housing, Guy Barnett said “It is truly wonderful to see this newly created space for staff and students in what can only be described as a modern, vibrant design that preserves and respects the important history of this landmark building for Launceston and of course the university.’’
We are currently working with our project partner BVN on Stage Two of the project, which involves refurbishment of the balance of the building, planned for completion in 2025.