Navigate the Design Statement with the section links below.
Reacting To Site Potential –
Salamanca Place would likely benefit if it could be experienced as both a continuous lively edge and a link between two significant spaces; an engaging, nearly uninterrupted trip between Princes Park and St Davids Park. Development at the Lenna site offers an opportunity to extend the form of Salamanca Place in a way that enables more positive linkage, more choices within the ‘Salamanca Experience’, and a vantage point for an overview of it.
Both the liveliness and formal coherence of Salamanca Place tends to diminish as it rises up towards Prince’s Park. The deviation of historical development to the Castray Esplanade is currently disjointed and does not offer pedestrians a continuing sight line. Making the park more evident and more tempting would be a positive urban move. The Lenna Proposal is arrayed to support this outcome.
Ensuring Heritage View Lines
and Repairing the 1970s
The views to the original Lenna building from the Runnymede Street corner are undisturbed (the 1973 hotel building having largely obscured the original mansion).
Stairs, pathways and routes are incorporated into the view up Runnymede St to encourage pedestrian exploration and make the steep terrain less daunting.
The 1973 building is much less imposing in the streetscape and experienced as a ‘courtyard edge’ rather than an independent ‘block’ in the round.
The original Lenna and the proposed new Lenna are geared to be the dominant elements in a composition where the ‘70’s building is given an ‘infill’ role.
Layered Stepping Building Form
In accord with Council aspirations for development in this particular area, a stepping form has been designed that climbs to enable the existing 1970’s Lenna building to act as the summit in the new composition.
The first or lowest step is formed from a podium base that wraps around from Salamanca Place frontage. This base platform is minimised in height; it does not reach to balustrade level, it is topped instead with bowl like planters that emphasise its shelf like character. The bulk of the scheme is setback from this podium/shelf/ platform and rises four stories to then step back again to form a final level.
Balcony divisions are not present. This last topping layer is treated with differing, continuous fenestration and a sloping roof edge. In this way, the main block portion of the new development is rendered at a lower height than the 1970’s Lenna block, creating a further expressed step.
The differing elevation treatments of each ascending element further assist the stepping expression; the development not only has a steeping outline, it has a distinctly characterised rise of differing layers. The form reads as an accumulation of stacking and receding parts, rather than a modelled, unitary block.
Continuing the Salamanca Facade
& Laneway Language
Although the existing historic Salamanca ‘wall’ of ex-warehouses forms a strikingly linear effect, it is made up from discernibly fragmented parts that give it a characteristic rhythm and sub-articulation through its length. Notably, there are slight variations in height of the combining forms and repeating vertical divisions, or infilled gaps (which historically facilitated loading).
This language is echoed in the proposed development. The podium frontage to Salamanca Place is slightly adjusted in through its length, with variations in setback yielding a direct line of site to the park edge and its welcoming greenery. Notably, the inclusion of a tall vertical slot, similar in proportion to the Salamanca originals, divides both podium and upper levels. This element not only rescales the proposal into pieces, it includes a climbing stair from footpath to podium. This ‘climb-to-an upper-vantage-point’ is well precedented in the lower Salamanca experience which characteristically involves stairs that ascend to the Battery Point platform above the streets and courts below.
The ‘vertical-division’ language is also used in the levels of the development, where just as historically rendered in Salamanca, the slots are used as balconies.
Dignifying Civic Identity With Roof Form
Early illustrations and photographs of Hobart’s development have a cue which is repeatedly evident as the city has developed. When seen from the harbour or from the many vantage points in the lower folds of the terrain, simple block-like structures can be seen – capped metal clad hipped roof forms. The relatively sparse development patterns of the city have seen these simple Georgian forms popping up at various scales at various times (the original Lenna building being a conspicuous although more highly worked example of this type).
A continuation of this silhouette quality is envisaged in the Lenna Proposal. Its straight forward Cartesian outline and resolution at the sky edge in an abstracted hipped form recognises precedent and offers a continuation of historic picturesque qualities particular to Hobart. This dominant outline negates any intrusive effects of the lift over-run structure.
Since the proposal will be visible from many vantage points it is judged appropriate that the building participates with tradition in an enlarged and nuanced way – using a roof form. It presents the building as more ‘mansion-like’ than ‘block-like’.