The Hatchery is a seaweed propagation facility that provides the necessary infrastructure to support large scale seaweed farming in Newcastle, Nelson Bay and Lake Macquarie.
Repurposing Nobbys Breakwater, the Hatchery is conceptually ‘a line in the sand’. Distinctive from the industrial practices of Newcastle’s working harbour; the Hatchery seeks to engage with the public, reconnecting Newcastle’s urban environment with farming and seasonal practices. Seaweed raceways, greenhouses, work and research spaces are integrated with educational and exhibition spaces.
While space, light and materials are manipulated architecturally for the purposes of industry, they also respond to an exposed environment to gather, shelter and support the public. Through the movement of saline water; a key ingredient for the propagation of seaweed, the building seeks to acknowledge the estuary that lies buried beneath the site and the changing political and environmental paradigm.