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Australian Tapestry Workshop

Architect: T. J Crouch 1885, Peter Carmichael 1976, Williams Boag Architects 2001

The Australian Tapestry Workshop (ATW) occupies a National Trust and heritage-listed building in South Melbourne. Designed by prominent Melbourne architect T. J Crouch it is a distinctive example of Victorian Free Gothic architecture style. Externally Crouch’s design is dominated by a heavily ornamented façade of white Oamaru (NZ) limestone surmounted by an elaborate parapet and squat central tower. The single storey showroom, now the ATW tapestry weaving studio is spanned by light wrought iron trusses, on exotic cast-iron columns, naturally lit by sawtooth skylights. The building opened in 1885 as Harcourt and Parry Emporium a drapery establishment for the pioneer Victorian colonist Edwin Harcourt and was later adapted for use as the Patross Knitting Mills. In 1976, a renovation by Peter Carmichael transformed a derelict and dingy factory space into a spacious, light-filled studio – a perfect home for the ATW. In 2001 further improvements were carried out by Williams Boag Architects to include new public areas including, a yarn shop, gallery spaces and viewing mezzanine. Today it is maintained as a vibrant and dynamic public space for creative collaboration and the weaving of contemporary tapestries.

Photos: Jeremy Weihrauch

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Discover the making of Bridle Track Hill End, 2019, designed by Luke Sciberras and woven by Chris Cochius, Sue Batten, Amy Cornall, Pamela Joyce and Karlie Hawking. 1.6 x 1.6m, wool and cotton.

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