Developed by the Central Coast Council, with funding from the Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments, Ulverstone Cultural Precinct is a multi-use facility located in Ulverstone, Tasmania. The vision developed for the Cultural Precinct combines arts, culture, tourism and science to create a vibrant community and education hub within the Central Coast region.
The new multi-faceted community facility incorporates new exhibition spaces for the arts and social history, a relocated visitor information centre and retail space, a café, active workshop spaces for woodworking and arts activities, a science centre and a planetarium.
Included within The Cultural Precinct is a three-storey facility, “The Hive”, as well as open spaces for the community and tourists to enjoy. “The Hive” is the region’s first cultural precinct and serves as both a community hub and a drawcard destination for visitors to the region. Inspired by the concept of a beehive, “The Hive” has been designed as a space for the community to gather, explore, share and grow. This bold undertaking represents a vital new asset for the community.
Artas Architects were engaged by Central Coast Council to design ‘The Hive’ on the council-owned parcel of land, which had all existing building infrastructure demolished or relocated to create a greenfield site for the project. Construction of the building was predominantly precast concrete panels tied in utilising suspended King floor concrete slabs and structural steel roof framing, supported by foundations consisting of bored piers and large perimeter edge beams.
Surrounding the building are concrete seats with Tasmanian oak timber tops for added warmth, paving with exposed salt and pepper concrete footpaths for interest, and timber look aluminium battens that provide sun shading to the double-height windows. A main feature of the building is the stunning Adbri Masonry concrete brickwork wall that adds a polished feel to the design and sits as a standout feature near the entrance of the building.
Internally, the ‘Hive’ features impressive joinery works including perforated Tasmanian oak veneer ply, a solid Tasmanian oak staircase and Tasmanian oak column and roof beams to the double-height entry portal. The outside areas, landscaped by Miriam Shevland from Playstreet, a landscape architecture studio based in Hobart, designed the exterior areas to create inviting and accessible spaces for the community to use with the landscaping planned to create a flow between the internal and external spaces.
Influenced by the science and planetarium themes housed within the centre, the landscaping includes a series of circular forms inspired by the spinning planets. This theme is carried throughout the external spaces with curved seating as well as circular outdoor teaching and meeting areas.
The paved areas are central to bringing the circular theme to life. Using Adbri Masonry’s Trihex® modular interlocking concrete pavers in robust neutral colours draws upon the concepts of spinning planets and geological layering. The hexagonal pattern is visually stunning as well as being fit for purpose. “We opted to use Adbri Masonry’s Trihex® pavers for this project for their texture and flexibility, in order to achieve visual complexity. We are extremely happy with the finished result,” says Miriam.
“The Adbri Masonry products not only enhance the space’s overall aesthetic but also provide a durable and low-maintenance solution for the outside areas, which allows the facility to focus on its mission of providing a community gathering place and cultural hub for the residents of Ulverstone,” adds Miriam.
The Ulverstone Cultural Precinct has been well-received by the community. The project’s landscaping recently received a High Commendation at the Think Brick Awards 2022, Bruce Mackenzie Landscape Clay and Concrete category.
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