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Shipwrights Arms aims to refresh the image and layout of a historic pub and improve its amenity to contemporary standards without losing its historic narrative. The addition of a contemporary light filled pavilion connects a series of spaces that were originally visually disconnected, had differing floor levels and scales, and lacked operational efficiency and visual security.
The primary intervention reimagines what was an under utilised and dark courtyard space as a bright semi-alfresco dining area with a timber canopy that appears to hover above the dining spaces and heritage cottages, gently tying all the existing buildings together. The gridded structural timber work plays homage to Tasmania’s rich timber boat building history and animates the ceiling with light and shadow.
A large axis provides needed visual permeability to the existing pub. Slicing diagonally from the existing entrance to the new pavilion the axis improves legibility for patron and staff a like and offers the opportunity to house both the new reception for the hotel upstairs as well as a series of dining spaces which filter off the axis. Materiality, colour, and wayfinding visually connect Shiprights Arms to its nautical history. The original building deliberately has minimal intervention with cleaning and painting revealing rich textures. The front bar has been delicately refreshed maintaining its locally loved atmosphere.
Local artisans Matt Prince and Scott Van Tuil’s furniture extends the sense of warmth and craftsmanship, whilst large timber-glazed sliding doors allows a Tasmanian fern garden to bring a biophilic experience to the space. A crazy paved low-lying wall is used to disguise the adjoining carpark whilst visually connecting the internal garden to views of local trees and sky beyond. Bringing light into the space and helping maximise the courtyard’s role as a positive retreat from the world outside.


Commendation for Commercial Architecture
AIA Tasmanian Chapter




Adam Gibson

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