Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health
RBA oversaw the adaptation of a turn of the century terrace in Carlton to offices for the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, which up until its acquisition by Melbourne University in 2014 had been a residence. Interestingly, it was built as part of a group of three terrace houses, which while of similar appearance with parapets in the Anglo Dutch style, had actually been constructed some ten years apart.
The main challenge of the project from a heritage perspective was bringing the building up to code and in compliance with DDA standards, whilst retaining its heritage value. Works included modifying the reinstated balustrade to the first floor balcony to achieve the correct height, and providing universal access to the entrance by lowering the basalt step at the gate and introducing a ramp.
Conservation works to restore the original presentation of the front part of the building were also a key aspect of the project. Alterations had accreted over time which were impeding an appreciation of the façade, including enclosure of the balcony and paint over the brickwork. The package of conservation works included reinstating the cast iron balcony, removing paint from the brickwork, repairing the tuck-pointing, and reinstating terracotta tiling to the deck.