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City of Launceston approves development of gasworks art gallery

City of Launceston approves development of gasworks art gallery
November 13, 2019

The City of Launceston has approved the development application for a heritage-listed gasometer frame to be infilled with a three-storey art gallery.

The $7 million conversion of the circular metal structure at the Launceston gas works site will create the DADA Gallery - housing a private art collection - a makers' workshop, cafe and bar and restaurant.

The site is the last remaining gasometer frame in the city and is in a high-profile position close to the city's historic Albert Hall and opposite Launceston City Park.

Measuring 25 metres in diameter and 20 metre in height, the frame will house six floors in total, with three floors to be used as gallery spaces.

Designed by Richard Hall Architect, the new attraction, which is expected to be completed by 2021 will feature a 30-seat cafe on its lower floor with a glass window where diners can watch artists work. It will be accessed from the second floor which is where the art gallery starts. There will then be three floors of art gallery and an art storage area.

A bar and restaurant, seating between 120 and 150 people, will be on the building's top level which will have panoramic views across Launceston.

Advising that the gallery would be a new icon for Launceston, the site's architect Richard Hall explained that a number of challenges were involved in planning the gallery, as areas of the surrounding site are contaminated.

He explained "the frame has been kept in its entirety, with the design being mostly enclosed within the frame. Where it isn’t you are able to walk in and around the columns and diagonal bracing to be able to be up close with the old gasometer in ways never before possible.

"Most of the cladding is to be a steel riveted cylinder replicating the original gasometer gas enclosure bell, along with industrial finished concrete panels and glass. Highlight cladding of some areas are bare copper panels to oxidize to turn green over time. Other parts are stainless steel and copper 'pipes' to make the design look more machine-like."

Images: Architect's rendering of Launceston's planned DADA Gallery (top and below) and the gasometer site prior to development (middle). Courtesy of Richard Hall Architect.

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