Following a competitive tender process, Abbotsford Convent Foundation today announced international design studio Hassell as Lead Consultant for the Abbotsford Convent Precinct Master Plan, to guide the precinct’s ambitious future.
Earlier this year, the Abbotsford Convent Foundation (ACF) secured generous Commonwealth funding support through the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ Australian Heritage Grants program and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation to update its Master Plan last revised in 2005. The new Master Plan will provide a holistic vision for the Convent, addressing gaps in previous iterations and informing the protection and enhancement of the precinct over the next decade, and beyond.
Hassell has a rich history of working with community and cultural organisations to help strategise, develop and consult on precinct Master Plans, including the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation, WA Museum Boola Bardip in joint venture with OMA, First Light Pavilion Visitor’s Centre at Jodrell Bank in the UK, Geelong Arts Centre, Destination Queenscliff, The Tin Alley Master Plan, Maningrida Arts & Culture Precinct, and the Afghan Bazaar Cultural Precinct. Hassell will bring together the same team that carried out the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation, to apply and build on learnings from that project to Abbotsford Convent.
Abbotsford Convent is an exemplary arts, cultural and learning precinct—a welcoming and lively place that encourages collaboration and social interaction. Through creative, holistic thinking and a structured, integrated design process, Hassell will collaborate with Abbotsford Convent Foundation, its diverse stakeholders, and the broader community to build on the qualities of the unique precinct; creating a place that even more people love; and finding new and exciting ways to connect people, events, histories, stories and landscapes.
ACF Chair Victoria Marles said, “An updated Master Plan will provide a comprehensive, integrated vision for the Convent’s future. As we reimagine the world we will live in through and post the pandemic, there has perhaps never been a more vital time to undertake this strategic visioning. I am thrilled that Hassell will be leading this project, bringing together the best designers and thinkers in a unique, collaborative process that will have a lasting impact on the precinct for years to come.”
Hassell Principal Ben Duckworth said, “Our purpose is to design places people love. Places that facilitate connections, between people as well as between people and the ecosystems, cultures and histories we live in. The Convent is a much-loved place that does exactly that—it represents the qualities that make a city a worthy place to live in: a place of genuine exchange between people, through personal interactions and expressions of culture. We see a rich variety of opportunities to amplify and expand these qualities even further.”
Hassell commences work on the Abbotsford Convent Precinct Master Plan in November 2020, with the project to be completed by October 2021.
Hassell is a leading international design practice with studios in Asia, Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Their purpose is to design the world’s best places—places people love. They do this by combining strategic insight with creative design to unlock the social, cultural and economic value of places. They collaborate with the best minds in research, industry and design worldwide and are committed to making a positive impact on communities and our environment.
The Master Plan project received grant funding from the Australian Government through the Australian Heritage Grants Program, and from Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.