LIMINAL STUDIO | The Hedberg is official!

Posted 25 January 2017

As Principal Consultant, Liminal Architecture is thrilled the performing arts project is full steam ahead having officially commenced construction, and been graced the formal name, ‘The Hedberg’, previously known as The Creative Industries and Performing Arts Project, last week.

A live webcam of the progress on site can be viewed here.



The name was publicly announced last Thursday by the University of Tasmania’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen. The launch was shared with Federal Senator David Bushby and Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman in a special ceremony held in the Dress Circle of the historic Theatre Royal located adjacent to the building site in Hobart.  


Naming the building The Hedberg, reinforces the historic connection to the site and precinct. The two-storey part of the Hedberg Brothers Garage on Collins Street, built in 1925 and opened in 1926, has been integrated into the design of the new creative industries and performing arts complex. The garage was an early, unusual and important example of its type, and being of particular heritage value, will serve as the main entry from Collins Street.

The significance of the building’s site dates back to the 1830s, when it was a key landmark in the heart of Hobart’s Wapping district, a lively convergence of working class homes, industry and entertainment. Hedberg tokens or coins, which were minted in the 1920s, were discovered on site during the archaeological excavation, and will be integrated into the archaeological displays that will form part of the building.


Hedberg token - front


Hedberg token - back

Other items discovered on site during the archaeological excavation include ceramics and objects originating from Peru and China, highlighting that Hobart has always been an international destination city, a fact to be further perpetuated by The Hedberg development.


Chinese ceramic fragment

Senator Bushby spoke about the Federal Government’s commitment to continued funding that encourages growth in education and the creative industries. Similarly, Premier Hodgman recognised that Tasmania is fast becoming renowned for its visual and performing arts sectors, and understood that The Hedberg will be a key development for the state, and especially so for Hobart and its revered Theatre Royal.

Acknowledging that the project has been a long time in the making, Professor Rathjen thanked all the various stakeholders, commitment of the team and funding bodies that have assisted in its realisation. He spoke about the university’s on-going dedication to revitalising and nurturing the growth of the state’s centres, and how in particular, a project like The Hedberg highlights the benefits of public and private collaborations and emphasises how research is pushing investment and growth.


“Physically, the Hedberg Brothers Garage was at the heart of Wapping, bounded by the Theatre Royal, City Hall, hospital and the Hobart Rivulet,” Professor Rathjen said. “Just as the contemporary building, bearing its name, will be at the heart of the ongoing resurgence of Hobart as a cultural and performance centre of national and international standing.”

The Hedberg is due for completion in 2019.


For more official media releases on The Hedberg:

Will Hodgman, Premier, Tasmanian Government

The University of Tasmania

ABC News


Other artefacts unearthed at The Hedberg site:


Bone fishing spear head


Snuff bottle


Russian kopek coin - front


East India coin - front


East India coin - back


Cannon ball