Antarctic Gateway Launches Richest Design Competition in Southern Hemisphere

Tasmania, a natural wilderness island and gateway to Antarctica, has launched the richest design competition in the Southern Hemisphere to remodel the waterfront of its capital city, Hobart. The area under review was the landing stage during the darkest period of the island’s history when Tasmania was a 19th-century penal colony for Britain.

Spearheading the city’s revival will be European architects Carme Pinos of Spain and Wiel Arets of The Netherlands, who have been invited to judge the Hobart Waterfront International Design Competition. Pinos and Arets were invited to join the jury because of their groundbreaking work on complex and sensitive projects.

The Competition Brief is to unveil visionary ideas to improve connections between the city centre and the waterfront of Hobart, an area that played an important role in early Tasmanian Aboriginal life.

The competition prize pool is US $120,000, with US $7,500 for the winning student entry.

“Everything will be considered nothing is off limits. We’re looking for great ideas and world-class concepts for this magnificent site, and we believe our competition will appeal to creative minds everywhere,” said Paul Lennon, Premier of Tasmania, when launching the competition. “The competition allows the complexity of the site to be explored to its fullest, with opportunities to link our past to our future. We are proud of our waterfront and rightly so. It is a world-class blend of maritime heritage, working port and cultural heart. We are confident the design competition will create significant interest among leading international architects, planners and engineers and will generate the sort of innovative thinking that led to the creation of the Sydney Opera House.”

Lennon said he expects entrants to use leading-edge materials and techniques, adhering to world-class sustainable development standards. “The creative challenge is to embrace the area’s rich history and design a contemporary cultural hub to revitalise the space. Entrants will need to protect and enhance what is uniquely Tasmanian about the waterfront while letting their imaginations soar,” Lennon said.

The Hobart Waterfront International Design Competition closes on 01 December 2006, and all entries will be put on public display in January and February of 2007.

For the Competition Brief and further information, please visit