Prahran Arcade – Dan Murphy’s Store
RBA worked closely with the design team to develop a sympathetic scheme for the fitout of Dan Murphy’s flagship store at the grand Victorian era Prahran Arcade in Chapel Street. RBA were involved throughout the project, initially to prepare a Heritage Impact Statement to accompany the permit application, and subsequently to provide expert advice on the details and oversee the effecting of Heritage Victoria’s permit conditions. The works have reinvigorated part of the arcade, including the basement, and revealed key original features both internally and externally.
Internally, paint layers were partly removed revealing fragments of earlier colour schemes and the original brickwork. Sections of the original vaulted Traegerwellerblech ceiling of corrugated steel sheeting (a fireproofing system employed in Australia primarily during the 1880s and 1890s) have been retained, and the timber joists and cross-bracing remain exposed. All the new shelving and services, including the HVAC and lighting, were sympathetically introduced.
Externally, hoarding was removed at ground level to reveal the original masonry wall, which features several early painted signs for businesses in the arcade. For the new store, a sympathetic recessed shop front was introduced. The canopy roof cladding was also removed (originally there had been no canopy) restoring broad views of the elaborate detailing of the wall including the cornice which has modillion brackets and a Doric Order frieze with alternating triglyphs and metopes enriched with fleur-de-lys motifs. Traces of some of the other mouldings survive including the pediment above the keystone and capital-like sections to the piers.