Cascades Female Factory Historic Site

16 Degraves Street, South Hobart


Architect: John Lee Archer (1828), Yard 4 Designed by Birrelli (2012), history and interpretation centre concept design by Liminal Architecture with Snøhetta (2017), detailed design development (including interiors and exterior finishes), construction documentation and site administration by MCA Architects.

Once a self-contained, purpose-built institution intended to reform female convicts, the World Heritage-listed Cascades Female Factory tells the story of the displacement, mistreatment and forced migration of convict women and girls. Sitting beneath the shadow of kunanyi/Mount Wellington, the site is one of 11 sites that comprise the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. Here, the inmates were compelled to undertake duties such as spinning, weaving, sewing and laundering, offsetting some of the Colony’s penal costs. Of the 25,000 female convicts transported to Australia, approximately 7,000 of these women passed through the gates of the Cascades Female Factory.

In 2017, a national architectural design competition was held for the design of a new History and Interpretation Centre at the significant site. LIMINAL Architecture and collaborators Snøhetta and Rush Wright Associates developed the winning design, which interprets and presents the stories that have shaped the Cascades Female Factory and development of the colony. The proposed design concept, which comprises a holistic and integrated architectural and landscape design, is a powerful reminder of the struggle between light and dark, imprisonment and liberty, punishment and reform, threat and opportunity, horror and hope.

Read more about the Liminal Architecture with Snøhetta concept here.

Detailed design development (including interiors and exterior finishes), construction documentation and site administration by MCA Architects please see their website for more details.

Tours: Saturday 11 November 2023, 9.30 am, 10.30 am, 1.30 pm

Duration: 50 minutes


*  On Saturday, 11 November, Open House Hobart asks everyone to observe a minute silence at 11 am for Remembrance Day.


South Hobart

Building Types



Architectural Periods


Contemporary (2001-current)



History of Hobart

New to Program

Suitable for Children


Level Changes

Uneven Surfaces

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