Devonport Living City Stage One

Devonport Living City Stage One

“Our design positions the library within close proximity of those government service providers, enabling the recipients of those services to — quite literally — have a seamless pathway to vital library services including literacy programs.”

Neil Appleton, Director of Lyons

Beyond conceptualisation, architecture has the ability to rejuvenate and reshape communities. Devonport Living City is the realisation of this potential; the birth of a new highly activated public and commercial space. Our design rose to meet the needs of a community who craved public spaces they could take pride in. As the host to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry, Devonport had potential for tourism and economic growth that was yet to be harnessed. Together with Devonport City Council, we worked on an ambitious masterplan that is magnifying Devonport’s potential and enriching the city’s social, cultural and economic heart.

The city’s investment transcended more than local infrastructure and public space, sending an important message to the community: we are investing in you and your future. Our design is the living proof of this. It creates a reciprocal loop where the community is inspired to invest and engage with their city and as a result get more from it in return. From the consolidation of key public services for improved accessibility, to stimulating local culture through the investment in an open plan, fresh food market, Devonport Living City Stage One has inspired pride within the local community and ignited a thriving tourism industry.

  • Sector


  • Key Lyons contacts

    Neil Appleton

  • Collaborators

    Birelli Architects
    Maddison Architects
    ASPECT Studios

  • Client

    Devonport City Council

  • Location

    44-48 Best St, Devonport TAS 7310

  • Traditional land

    Located on the traditional lands of the Palawa people

  • Size

    23,350 square metres

  • Project status

    Stage one: Complete, 2018
    Stage two: Complete, 2022

“The redevelopment of the Devonport Waterfront is the second major stage of the transformational Devonport LIVING CITY Master Plan. Lyons have played an integral role, leading the design on both the initial stage and now on the current Waterfront Precinct.”

Matthew Atkins, General Manager of Devonport City Council

“Our community has embraced its new library and we have seen a significant lift on every single indicator of engagement since opening in September 2018. Libraries like Devonport invite you to connect, grow and create a bright future for yourself and with others. Everyone deserves to belong to a library like this one.”

Jane Forward, Manager Devonport Library

A vision to stimulate economy and culture

Our design for Devonport Living City came in response to a carefully considered vision for the city. Through rigorous planning, research and community engagement, the Living City Master Plan was born. During the development of this new strategic plan, it was clear the residents wanted to revitalise their community, encourage tourism and stimulate economic growth. The vision was to create a retail and service hub within Devonport, while amplifying the natural possibilities for tourism that come with the bustling port city. The blueprint conceives a 10 year vision and the largest urban renewal project to be undertaken in regional Tasmania’s north-west. Selected to deliver both the Civic and Waterfront Precincts, our design for Devonport Living City is sparking the rebirth of a city. Manager of Devonport Library Jane Forward summarises the impact of the project remarking, “Stand on the banks of the Mersey River and you’ll begin to appreciate what a change-making project Devonport’s ‘Living City’ is. Visit the library in the new paranaple centre and you’ll begin to understand the power of libraries to inspire and shape community well-being too.”

Designing solutions that serve the community

Our design for Devonport Living City creates a highly activated public and commercial space that contributes to the economic growth of Devonport. The Paranaple Centre, the Indigenous word for the Mersey River, is a key aspect of this growth. The four-storey multi-purpose building houses the state library, offices for the council and state government, and a convention centre. By co-locating these facilities a new civic centre is born, enabling access to State and Local Government services all under one roof. The scale of the building maximises its urban presence, creating a strong and visible icon for the precinct.

Located across two levels in the Paranaple Centre, the library in its new central location is an invaluable resource to the community. It provides vital access to educational resources such as literacy programs and leverages welcoming features to create an inclusive space. Featuring large expanses of clear glass, the design creates a sense of connection with neighbouring historic buildings and the Devonport waterfront beyond.

On the top floor of the Paranaple Centre sits a convention centre, equipped to accommodate large events, putting Devonport on the map as a destination for conferences in Tasmania. We designed the layout to take advantage of expansive views out to the Mersey River by minimising columns and maximising the ceiling height. Our design favours flexibility, allowing the public to use offices and meeting rooms when unoccupied.

A celebration of Devonport's culture and identity

Our design sought to foster and enhance culture within the community to support Devonport in its pursuit of becoming a tourism destination in Tasmania. We achieved this with the design of the Market Square, Providore Place and Market Hall. Providore Place and Market Hall are designed to be a hub of local Tasmanian produce, attracting tourists and locals to Devonport. More than just a food hall, it is a place to gather and celebrate local produce, arts, crafts and music. Integrating the restored foundations of the unused police house in the centre of the square as an informal stage and events space provides historic context, celebrating the past whilst performing for the future. The contemporary market is designed to flood with natural light to showcase regional produce. Lyons director and design leader on the project Neil Appleton explains that it takes design inspiration from an ancient, mobile light source: “The building is designed like an enormous lantern that allows natural light in through a polycarbonate roof structure.” Features such as large glazed doors and roller shutters create a flexible space that can either be enclosed and protected or left open to the elements in fine weather.

Key Contacts

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