“Molds, Yeast Cultures and Bacteria” Inspired Design of Tasmanian Fermentation Center


A fermentation center which could produce everything from cheese to alcohol will be built in northern Tasmania, now that local nonprofit Fermentasmania has secured $ 7.5 million in federal funding.

Part factory, part laboratory, part tourist attraction, the 1,800 square meter facility will be designed by architectural firm Cumulus and landscape architect SLBA Studio and will be located 10 kilometers northwest of Launceston. The idea is that it will support local fermentation start-ups manufacturing a range of different products by providing low-cost access to specialized equipment, research and education.

“Our collaboration with Fermentas was essential in solving the complexities of the space, which needed to house highly prescribed production processes while providing an accessible and engaging public face,” said Jet O’Rourke, partner at Cumulus.

Public spaces will be designed in such a way that visitors can familiarize themselves with the fermentation process, with fermentation tanks, equipment pipes and production areas visible. The screen along the façade has been ‘playfully raised’ at the corners of the building, making way for full glazing to give passers-by a glimpse of the inner workings of the hub.

The landscape plan by SBLA Studio.

The roof, which follows the alternating contours of the facade, creates a second level housing the specialized plant equipment needed for the various fermentation processes.

“As the site sits along the West Tamar Freeway, we had to consider a design that would spark the curiosity of passers-by,” said O’Rourke. “The changing façade lifts the veil on the traditional structure of the ‘big hangar’, opening up the space and connecting the interior to the landscape.

The landscaping features sculptural plantings that refer to molds, yeast cultures and bacteria, as if viewed under a microscope.

Some plantings will look like champagne bubbles and the paving patterns will be designed to look like bacteria on an agar plate. There will also be productive gardens where visitors can source native and exotic plants to fuel the fermentation production process indoors.

“We have worked closely with Fermentas and botanist Pippa French, who will continue to collaborate with us on how the landscape can celebrate the wonder that occurs in the building,” said Simone Bliss, Creative Director of SBLA Studio .

Construction of the facility will begin this year with delivery scheduled for 2022.


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