The Central Park Conservatory in Malvern, built in 1927, is a functional – yet elegant – structure, expressive of its roots in the Modern movement. The conservatory’s curved steel framing system, imported from Europe, reflects the emergence of steel framed glazing as a key innovation of the era.

When RBA was approached by Stonnington Council, the building was in such poor structural condition that it had been condemned. Reluctant to lose this significant building, Council was seeking possible strategies for its retention.

An innovative and cost-effective technical solution was developed, involving in-situ repair of corroded steel sections rather than a replacement – maintaining the structural and historical integrity of the original frame.

The conservatory is one of only three public conservatories in Victoria: the others being the Rosalind Park conservatory at Bendigo, constructed in 1897 (since altered); and the conservatory in the Fitzroy gardens, built in 1930. Many other public conservatories have been demolished, making the Central Park Conservatory a now rare expression of Modern technology in the state.