The World Heritage-listed Cascades Female Factory Historic Site will be formally reopened with the launch of the new History and Interpretation Centre on Friday 25 March 2022 by the Hon Peter Gutwein, Premier of Tasmania, including a keynote address by The Hon Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO and Master of Ceremonies, Tracey Spicer AM.
The new $5M History and Interpretation Centre provides purpose-built visitor facilities including a welcome space and tour assembly area, interpretation gallery, research room and gift shop. A multi-purpose space will enable the delivery of the Education Program.
Better-defined enclosure walls with a newly landscaped yard and interpretive elements relating to the original built features will provide a backdrop for visitor experiences.
Funding of $3M has been provided by the Tasmanian State Government while a further $2.024M has been provided from the Federal Government.
Cascades Female Factory and the History and Interpretation Centre will reopen to the public on Saturday 26 March 2022.
Design and Architecture
An architectural design competition was launched in March 2017 that called for a design that would celebrate the significance and heritage values of the World Heritage-listed Cascades Female Factory and acknowledge the contribution of convict women throughout the history of colonial Australia and up to the present day.
The competition jury comprised female leaders in architecture, heritage management, and the arts including Catherine Baudet (Director Ferrier Baudet Architects); Janet Carding (Director Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery); Justine Clark (architectural editor, speaker and research); Shelley Penn (Director Shelley Penn Architect); and Penelope Evatt Seidler AM (Director Harry Seidler and Associates).
A Tasmanian architecture firm, Liminal Studio, in partnership with international firm Snøhetta and Melbourne landscape practice Rush Wright Associates, were announced as the design winners in March 2018.
Grant O’Brien, Chair of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority says:
“The new History and Interpretation Centre is an exciting project that will invigorate this globally significant heritage site. Tasmanian firm Liminal Studio, in partnership with Snøhetta International and Rush Wright Associates, have presented a design that will emotionally connect visitors to the existing heritage fabric of the site and sensitively convey the stories of the thousands of women who passed through it.”