Mawson Skate

TypeTemporary Artificial Skate Rink, Skate Hire & Food KioskLocationSullivans Cove, Hobart, TasmaniaYear2012StatusTemporaryArchitectCumulus Studio


Over the past decade, Hobart’s Sullivan’s Cove has transitioned from a declining mono-functional industrial hub to a key leisure attraction for visitors and the public alike. An important aspect of this shift has been the careful balance of permanent marine operations and bold tourism ventures paired with temporary public events and activities: from seasonal events such as the Taste of Tasmania and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, to the iconic weekly Salamanca Market.

In the 2012/2013 summer, Cumulus Studio collaborated with local tourism developer Richard Crawford, to create a summer skate rink to turn the previously an unused part of the waterfront into a vibrant public space.

The Mawson Skate Rink consisted of an artificial ice skating surface and two “popup” containers for skate hire and food kiosk. The whole project came together on an extremely tight timeframe so that it would be open for Christmas and the summer period. Importantly, everything was designed to be temporary so that it could easily be removed and the space restored at the end of its life.

Temporary insertions not only activate under-utilised public space but provide a new lens for the public to see new value and potential in under-utilised space. Although the Mawson’s Skate Rink was only a fleeting summer encounter, the ground floor of the adjacent Marine Board Building has since been converted into a range of dining experiences creating a much needed permanent activation of the site.