Tim Penny Architecture + Interiors

TAC Pyramids

About the Project:

The Risdon Cove site is significant to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community. It was the launching point for white settlement of Tasmania in 1803, through to symbolic reconciliation of land hand back as per the Aboriginal Land Act 1995 and progressive redevelopment and re-occupation by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community.


The Pyramids at Risdon Cove were originally built as a 'Visitor Centre at Bowen Park' by Parks and Wildlife, in 1971. The Complex comprised a car park and two pyramids joined by a glazed link. One pyramid was used as an exhibition/interpretation space, the second pyramid was a theatrette.


With ownership transferred to the TAC, the Pyramids had been used for education and Community activities. However, the buildings were difficult to use as they were large un-insulated volumes, with outdated services and poorly defined entry and internal circulation.


The Pyramid Refurbishment project has completely re-worked the internal layout of Pyramid 1 and provided a new front door. It provides an education facility, incorporating multipurpose rooms, training kitchen, demonstration health consulting room and amenities.


The design approach was to redefine the entry through the insertion of a copper-clad, timber lined lobby that provides a light-filled public entry and presentation space for cultural artefacts and is an informal, in-between space.


The refurbishment of the main meeting space provides a fully-serviced education room with adjoining learning spaces for Health and Hospitality. Amenities are behind the lobby. Adjacent to the kitchen is an informal BBQ / external space.


The design articulates materiality and planes to define the entry, and transitions into a lobby space that links internal and external spaces. The foyer is oriented to 'Bowens Landing' and conceptually links the key elements of natural inhabited landscape, settlements, dispossession, re-development and re-possession.