utas imas

A new three-storey home for the University of Tasmania’s Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies situated on the waterfront in Hobart’s wharf precinct.




John Wardle Architects


University of Tasmania
& John Holland / Fairbrother Joint




Structural and civil engineering services under a managing contractor procurement model.


It is an institutional building with uncommonly specific uses, and consists of a reinforced concrete framed building with post-tensioned floors and an interesting steel framed roof.


The site selected for this building has been used as a wharf for many years, and was previously home to Princes Wharf No. 2 shed. The subsurface features a litany of in-ground obstructions including concrete retaining structures, boulder-strewn fill and remnants of earlier timber jetty structures. Considerable time and energy was spent on determining the best approach to founding the building before settling on micro piling.

In keeping with its intended use as a specialised laboratory and research facility, the building contains a large amount of services in addition to the usual. This, along with exacting architecture required a high degree of coordination and documentation accuracy between consultants. Both Gandy and Roberts and the architect chose to document this project using BIM packages (Revit and Bentley Architecture respectively) to assist this process.


An impressive building on the Hobart waterfront providing  a flexible environment for teaching and research, while maintaining a connection to  the history of the area and its current maritime connections.  A five star Greenstar  rating for the building has been achieved, which  involved stormwater treatment for site runoff and structural material credits.


Photos Leigh Woolley except artist's impression image courtesy John Wardle