In the heart of Hobart, Tasmania, exciting progress is underway for the upcoming In The Hanging Garden precinct, which aims to become a thriving epicentre for cultural activity in the heart of nipaluna/Hobart’s CBD. Stage 1 of the project, which includes town planning and demolition works, has begun, and is aligned with the broader Masterplan vision of the precinct to activate the site with exciting social events. The four-year collaborative venture between Riverlee and DarkLab aims to create a place of pride for the people of Hobart and invite the world to discover, explore, and embrace the richness of Tasmania through the collision of food, music, community, and commerce. The project promises to be an exciting addition to Hobart’s cultural landscape and a significant step towards creating a destination that celebrates the history, character, and diversity of Tasmania.
Riverlee and DarkLab have developed a master plan vision that includes the development of various uses over several stages, all centred around a central garden and gathering space. The precinct contains several culturally significant buildings, including the historic Odeon Theatre, the former Tattersalls Hotel, Wellington House, Mona Lisa Restaurant (Hobart’s first licensed venue), and an impressive frontage of approximately 80 meters along Liverpool Street. Riverlee has been investing in Tasmania since 2001 with a long-term vision for a master-planned mixed-use precinct that is in keeping with the history and character of the site.
The Precinct has its origin story in a temporary cultural activation known as ‘In The Hanging Garden’, which was launched at the MONA’s Dark Mofo Festival in 2019. The activation was an open-ended partnership with MONA subsidiary Dark Mofo and helped initiate and build the Precinct’s identity as a flexible hospitality and live performance space.
Riverlee and DarkLab’s master plan vision outlines the ongoing evolution of The Hanging Garden precinct, which will see it expand to create a place that will serve the community now and into the future. The first stage of the master plan includes the development of a new commercial office building at 120 Bathurst Street, a joint venture with Quintessential Equity, which adopts a design by MONA and ‘In The Hanging Garden’ lead architects Fender Katsalidis.
Stages 2 and 3 will further transform the existing site with a series of hospitality and live music venues, in addition to more tiered beer gardens, communal areas, and a diverse residential offering. All spaces will be interconnected via a network of intimate and breathable laneways. The redevelopment of the Odeon Theatre in the precinct has a current concept plan on it for a new hotel atop it.
The three stages of development will generate more than 270 jobs, injecting an estimated $270.7 million into the local economy, and helping to reinvigorate Hobart’s CBD in a post-pandemic world. Once completed, The Hanging Garden Precinct will retain the original site’s rich history while establishing itself as one of Australia’s most intriguing cultural destinations and setting a new benchmark for Hobart’s ongoing cultural development.
The development of The Hanging Garden Precinct has been undertaken with the utmost consideration for the local community. Community feedback has been and continues to be sought throughout all decision-making processes and place-based approaches. The initial vision from Riverlee and DarkLab to create a place that frames boundless social adventures and inspires new perspectives remains the same.
The Hanging Garden Precinct will weave the site’s historical fabric, local stories, and contemporary elements to build on a distinct and much-loved sense of place and retain cherished layers of Hobart’s history. With its unique blend of cultural, commercial, and residential spaces, The Hanging Garden Precinct is set to become a hub of activity and a vital part of Hobart’s ongoing cultural and economic development.Hanging-Garden-Placebook
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