Designs have been revealed for the River’s Edge and Willis Street Buildings – the final and major buildings of the University of Tasmania’s (UTAS) new Launceston campus.
Development applications for the River’s Edge and the Willis Street buildings were submitted on 19 June 2020, with construction due to commence next year.
The cornerstone buildings will house a significant portion of the University’s teaching and research activity in the revitalised Inveresk cultural and educational precinct.
The university campus relocation will increase access to education, boost the region’s economy and connect the Inveresk Precinct to the CBD, and is the centrepiece of the $453.4 million Launceston City Deal.
The UTAS project is expected to create around 430 jobs during construction – 20 per cent will be apprentices and trainees – and around 230 ongoing jobs.
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, said the Federal Government’s $254 million City Deal investment was an economic injection for the region with sustained long-term benefits.
“The new campus is the biggest construction project in Launceston’s history and will create hundreds of local jobs during construction,” Mr Tudge said.
“It’s building a future for Launceston where the University is connected to the community, where students will be adding life to the city centre filling bars and cafes.”
Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan added the Government’s $130 million investment in the new Inveresk campus will provide Northern Tasmania with contemporary, distinctive learning and research facilities.
“The University’s new campus is designed to help deliver education and research that supports the North and North-West – courses that align with local economic needs and strengths, and research to benefit and build local industries,” Mr Tehan said.
Tasmanian Minister for State Growth Michael Ferguson said it was exciting to see momentum building for such a pivotal project for Launceston.
The Tasmanian Government is contributing $60 million towards the relocation as part of its $119 million investment in the Launceston City Deal.
“This project is putting education at the heart of our community, driving economic growth at every stage,” Mr Ferguson said.
“We look forward to new opportunities flowing as these final buildings move through the planning phase.”
Construction is currently being undertaken by Vos Constructions on the campus’ first major building, the Library and Student Experience building. It is expected that work on the building will finalise by the end of 2021.
Willis Street is the new academic building with a focus on allied health, nursing, food, science and physical education. It is a people-centric building that provides glimpses into research and learning – a place designed for university, industry, government and community to engage and collaborate within.
Willis Street features an expansive shed design by John Wardle Architects with its all-encompassing roof being a bold gesture, symbolic of the university’s vision and ideals that this will be a place filled with human endeavour making positive impacts for Tasmania, and from Tasmania to the world.
Designed by John Wardle Architects, with local Tasmanian partners 1+2 Architecture, River’s Edge will be a people-centric building that is welcoming, safe, and invites all users of the precinct to observe, engage and contribute to a rich university experience.
It will sit between the existing Architecture and Design building and historic Inveresk Railway Workshops.
River’s Edge is designed to maximise panoramic views of the North Esk river and mountains to the east, with southerly views through to Traverser Lane.
A place-based design responds to old and new, featuring industrial-style metal cladding, natural atrium lighting and windows inspired by the existing sawtooth rooflines of Inveresk.
Among other things, River’s Edge will feature flexible, collaborative teaching and research spaces for the College of Arts, Law and Education; supported with digital technology; break out spaces for students to encourage collaboration, social interaction and informal learning; and a consultation hub for Disability and Accessibility support, counselling and student wellbeing services.
For more information on the project, please visit: https://www.utas.edu.au/northern-transformation/inveresk-campus