Australian Antarctic Division Amenities

TypeFit OutLocationKingston, TasmaniaClientAustralian Antarctic DivisionYear2013StatusCompletedArchitectCumulus Studio

Hobart’s association with Antarctic voyages began in 1773 and in recent times has significantly expanded with the southernmost Australian capital city becoming an important hub for national and international Antarctic organisations.

The retrofit of existing bathroom facilities for the Australian Antarctic Division provided Cumulus Studio an opportunity to explore this association. Whilst the physical scope of the project was defined by the existing structure, the conceptual scope focused on interpreting and referencing the research subject matter – Antarctic.

The elemental singularity and austerity of the research location provided material cues – expanses of white with tonal blues to define programmatic zones. Large circular structural columns occupied the spaces setting up a formal cue for the fittings and fixtures. The tubular geometry and material quality of the lighting is mirrored in the basins, the relationship subtly cognisant of stalactites and stalagmites within ice caves. Mirrored surfaces contrast with cloudy opacity to reflect, defuse and obscure, creating variety and play whilst maintaining privacy for users.

This orchestration of materials, space and form demonstrates that the conceptual consideration of broader project associations can enrich even the smallest of institutional spaces.