4.0 Interpretation

​​​Interpretation is all the ways of presenting the cultural significance of a place. The aim of interpretation is to reveal and help retain this significance. Interpretation can take many forms, such as the way in which a place is used, investigated, or presented through a range of different media, such as signs, displays, activities, publications, activities and events. Conservation works, such as restoration, preservation and reconstruction, can also  be seen as types of interpretation, having the potential to reveal significance and assist in its understanding. See section '3 Restoration and Reconstruction'.

Discretionary permit applications will be required for those interpretation works which may impact the significance of the place. Typically, this will be works which involve greater amounts of intervention, changes to, or replacement of, significant fabric, or potential intrusions to the setting or presentation of a place. 

 

4.1 Interpretation signboards

What is eligible for a certificate of exemption?

(ie: work that will have no impact or only negligible impact on the significance of the place)​

When is a discretionary permit application required by the Tasmanian Heritage Council and what are appropriate outcomes?
​Installing interpretive signage to convey information relating to the significance of the place, where the work does not cause physical harm to, or visually intrude on, the significant fabric.

See also section '14 Signage'.

Installing interpretive devices that require physical disturbance of or damage to the historic fabric (including archaeology), or which will visually intrude on the historic fabric or on significant views to or from the heritage place.

Appropriate outcomes:

Interpretation should generally maintain, convey and enhance the cultural significance of the place. It should in no way detract from or obscure the place and its significance.

For highly significant places or major developments, an interpretation plan may be required to ensure that this work is properly considered.


 

4.2 Outlines of vanished structures

What is eligible for a certificate of exemption?

(ie: work that will have no impact or only negligible impact on the significance of the place)​

When is a discretionary permit application required by the Tasmanian Heritage Council and what are appropriate outcomes?
​Constructing outlines of vanished structures, where:
  • the work does not involve ground disturbance in areas of archaeological potential; and
  • the materials used to create the outline are not visually distracting and do not intrude on the heritage character of the place.

Constructing three dimensional structures to represent vanished features of a place.

Appropriate outcomes:

Visually intrusive structures, such as frameworks representing vanished buildings, may be acceptable where these features are ephemeral (eg: light-weight, inflatable or temporary) rather than permanent.

The visual intrusion of vertical structures can be toned down by using visually recessive finishes, including dark tones and natural colours.


​4.3 Audio-visual and lighting installations

What is eligible for a certificate of exemption?

(ie: work that will have no impact or only negligible impact on the significance of the place)

When is a discretionary permit application required by the Tasmanian Heritage Council and what are the appropriate outcomes?
​ ​

Use of discreet audio-visual installations to project sound or images that convey information relating to the place's significance, or use of lighting to illuminate features at night, where:

  • the work does not involve ground disturbanc in areas of archaeological sensitivity; and
  • any illumination accentuates the building's heritage character; and
  • the infrastructure is  not visually distracting and does not intrude on the heritage character of the place; and
  • the infrastructure does not involve fixings into historic fabric.

​Electronic meida that presents a view of the place that is in conflict with or contradictory to its heritage values.

Appropriate outcomes:

Lighting or other audio-visual installations that present the place in a manner that is inconsistent with its signficiance may be acceptable where the work is temporary or limited in its operation.

​Electronic media or lighting that imposes physical infrastructure on significant parts of a place.

Appropriate outcomes:

Where physical infrastructure is imposed on significant parts of a place it should be reversible, visually discreet and should not involve fixings that will cause long-term damage to fabric.

See also section '7 Excavation and Archaeological investigation'.


 

Case Study (Interpretation): Rosny Farm, Rosny

Rosny Farm is a complex of buildings and ruined structures located in Clarence. The historic barn underwent a program of redevelopment in 2006 to transform the building into a visual and performing arts space.

An interpretation plan was prepared to direct the development and its presentation. For example, a ruined outbuilding was covered with a lightweight roof structure, which helped indicate the original roof form and pitch, and also sheltered the ruin from the weather.

New interpretive signage was also installed to help explain the history and values of the complex. The signage was carefully designed and located to minimise impacts on views of the historic buildings.

​​Additional Information​​​

For further information regarding Interpretation please refer to some interpretation guidelines that other Australian states and organisations have created. This information does not form part of the Tasmanian Heritage Council's works guidelines, and are not part of our statutory requirements.


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