Conservation and adaptation of the original Head Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters (constructed in 1857-59 at Wilsons Promontory Light Station) to create comfortable visitor accommodation in this windswept location.

By the time Parks Victoria approached us in 1999, the building’s original use was redundant and it had fallen into disrepair after years of neglect and ad-hoc modifications.

Substantial works were required to adaptively re-use the building for tourist accommodation facilities. Extensive repairs were undertaken, primarily to the original slate roof, rubble granite walls and internal surfaces – including one of the first applications of revolutionary salt mitigation poultice treatments. RBA investigated robust materials, capable of withstanding the harsh, near cyclonic climatic conditions at the site.

The conservation works presented a unique opportunity to interpret the heritage values of the place for public appreciation. Layers of the building’s story were carefully and deliberately revealed through strategies such as exposing sections of the original internal plasterwork and underlying wall construction and applying a trace outline of two original (since-removed) fireplaces to the floor.

This project helped to restore the economic viability of the Light Station complex at Wilsons Promontory and enhance the public accessibility of its cultural heritage values.