Final-year architecture student Masako Morita has been judged the winner in the Hidden Hobart: People with a City in Mind competition for his Healing Spaces proposal.
The entries were shown in a shopfront exhibition around the Hobart CBD. Members of the public and a panel of judges were asked to pick the project that they believed was the best vision for the city. The competition, to help celebrate Hobart Architecture Week, was an initiative of the Australian Institute of Architects and received financial support from the Hobart City Council.
Entrants to the competition were asked to submit designs in response to themes of landscape, movement, city life and visual environment raised by Gehl Architects in its report Hobart: A City with People in Mind. From the seventeen entries that were received, ten projects were chosen by the panel, which comprised Karen Davis (Tasmanian president of the Australian Institute of Architects), Neil Noye (Hobart City Coucil director of development and environmental services) and Peter Poulet (state architect).
Masako Morita’s proposal features a pocket park at the edge of a multi-storey carpark adjacent to the Royal Hobart Hospital to provide a healing space for patients and visitors of the hospital. The creation of intimate, quality spaces for people to rest and contemplate encourages occupation in the city. The focus on greening spaces also addresses a current shortage of parks in the heart of the CBD and provides a more interesting and enjoyable experience for visitors to the hospital and city. The judges praised the project for being “economical and thus … identified as not only a whimsical yet futurist proposal but also achievable in the short term.”
SHEDworking by recent UTAS architectural graduate Ryan Cawthorn was the People’s Choice Prize winner for his vision featuring a reworking of the Macquarie Shed Number One and an extensive adaptation of the Hobart waterfront to create a new public space that engages with both the rich heritage fabric and new architecture of the precinct.
An additional $500 was won in a random draw of the votes by Team S from the Goulburn Street Primary School, who voted for the project Copenhagan can do it, why can’t Hobart? by UTAS graduate Andrew Kerr. The project compared the similarities in the cultures of Copenhagen and Hobart. Two additional exhibition projects – Back to the Future, by architecture graduate Keith Westbrook, and Community Ecology, by masters student Stuart Muir Wilson – were shortlisted by the jury for special mention.