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Client: University of Tasmania (UTAS)

Year: 2013-2021

The Hedberg is a major $110 million creative industries and performing arts development undertaken by the University of Tasmania in partnership with the Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments.

Integrated into Australia’s oldest operating theatre, the historic Theatre Royal, the development creates a cohesive link between the original theatre and the new construction with shared foyer and services spaces. This integration, combined with major upgrades to the Theatre Royal engineering systems, provides modernised performance spaces and allow the flexibility of fully integrated or independent performances when required.

The Hedberg houses the new UTAS Conservatorium of Music with dedicated practice, teaching and laboratory spaces, and new high-end performance spaces including the ‘Studio Theatre’; a world-class 200 seat ‘Recital Hall’; and the flexible ‘Salon’ for performance, rehearsal, broadcast and recording.

The demanding spatial constraints of the site, and exacting acoustic requirements of performance, teaching and practice spaces required JMG to work very closely with the architects and Arup’s acclaimed acoustics and theatre team, to deliver engineering services that are flexible, efficient and robust in performance.

Mechanical design solutions were required to maintain a comfortable indoor environment whilst minimising operational energy consumption, visual impact and noise transfer to acoustically sensitive spaces. System considerations included services penetrations without compromising the integrity of acoustic construction; ultra-low velocity displacement air delivery to performance spaces; and significant acoustic treatment of plant, ductwork and pipework – including over 180 duct mounted sound attenuators throughout the installation.

Electrical designs required close coordination between the power, lighting, audio visual, security, and complex IT systems, incorporating flexibility to suit variable requirements of the performance spaces. Careful design of electrical systems was required to ensure the highly sensitive audio equipment remained unaffected by transient voltages.


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