Located in the heart of Hobart city, the City Hall is a heritage listed landmark that was built in 1915. It serves as one of the two major public venues in Tasmania and has accommodated many significant events over the past 100 years. The City Hall is an ideal venue to host exhibitions, fairs, conferences, cocktail functions and concerts, seating up to 1240 people in the main hall and gallery combined. It is also commonly used as an emergency centre during disasters, such as the 2013 Tasmanian bushfires.
City Hall’s existing maintenance painting contract with Programmed includes an annual exterior wash and repaint. However, an interior repaint was further required in mid-2017 to prepare the hall for the Dark MOFO festival held in June. This festival is one of the largest art and music festival held in Tasmania and it was crucial to have the main hall inside freshly painted to welcome thousands of guests for the nine-day long festival. The goal was to revert the unpleasantly aging paint colour of the ceiling, walls, stairways and columns to match the original colour scheme.
Project Solution and Outcome
The intricate details on the balconies inside the main hall required skilful and experienced handiwork to embellish the heritage badge and design. Colours had faded over the years and no longer showed off trademarks of the hall’s ornate heritage. In order to revert this back to its original look, multiple colour combinations were tested to find the most suitable heritage colours able to accentuate the hall’s heritage design and also revamp the ambience of the entire hall.
Programmed used Dulux Professional Enviro 2 Interior Tintable Ceiling Flat to repaint the Hall’s pressed metal ceilings. Two coats in Flaxen Fair (Ivory) colour was applied after spot treating the rust with Dulux Metashield All Surface Primer. We ensured that industry standards were met (AS/NZ 2312) for steel corrosion protection. Existing vinyls on the columns below the balcony were also removed and stripped to its timber base so that they could be freshly painted in an Ivory shade to match the colour scheme.
In line with heritage surface work and standards requirements, we also ensured we met the Australian/New Zealand Standards (AS/NZ 2311) to safely paint over lead-based paint without burning or scraping off the base layer. Programmed used Dulux Wash & Wear + Plus Super Tough Low Sheen to paint the walls in heritage colours; Clay Bake (Raffia) and New Penny (Cinnamon). This included a coat of primer and 2 top coats to ensure long-term durability of the colour. Other heritage colours to paint the trim work of the balcony, the stage and the doors included Glade (Lichen), Golden Glow and Savannah (Biscuit), respectively.
In addition, to protect the hall’s timber flooring – which limited the options of equipment allowed to access the height of the balconies and ceilings for painting – we combined the use of a small scissor lift as well as a trailer mount boom lift which had stabiliser legs to evenly spread the weight out on the timber floors. This solution also ensured our painters’ safety.
Despite the difficulty accessing these 30-metre high ceilings and intricacy of this project, Hobart City Council was very pleased with the restoration of the hall’s entire interior. The beautiful restoration of its original form, character and magnificence was successfully completed in time to host the thousands of guests who would throng the Dark MOFO festival.
Project completion presented Programmed with a fantastic opportunity being awarded the Winner at the 2018 Master Painters Awards for Excellence in the Heritage Restoration category.