At the recent AIA awards event, it was announced that two of RBA’s recent projects, the Prahran Arcade Façade Restoration and Doherty House, have been shortlisted in the Heritage Category for the 2023 AIA Victorian Architecture Awards. The RBA team found both projects to be incredibly fulfilling and they serve as exemplary examples of the high level of work and expertise that is consistently demonstrated at RBA.


Prahran Arcade Façade Source: Thurston Empson



Doherty House Source: Thurston Empson










At its completion in 1890, the extravagant Prahran Arcade reflected Melbourne’s ‘boom-time’ optimism. Despite its initial opulence, its condition gradually worsened over the decades, with structural cracks, damaged render and flaking paint visible since at least the 1970s. To establish the project scope, the non-original layers of paint were carefully stripped back revealing long-lost aspects of the façade, including imprints of the original ‘PRAHRAN ARCADE’ lettering, which was faithfully restored. Structural repairs to corroded steel elements in the balcony were discretely integrated with conservation works to both the ceiling and floor, and the decorative details, including two large eagles, were carefully rebuilt. A traditional skim coat rendered finish, with oxide pigments chosen to match the soft tones of the original, completed the conservation works. The outcome, guided by evidence-based conservation practice and respect for multi-layered stories, is a revitalised Prahran Arcade once again expressing the late-Victorian ambition of the area.

Doherty House, located in what is now suburban western Melbourne, is one of only a few remaining tangible connections to the area’s initial colonial inhabitation. Constructed in the 1870s and devastated by fire in 1969, the house had been overwhelmed by vegetation and was in danger of collapse. The required conservation works were approached holistically. Short term, the building has been stabilised and elevated to a landmark interpretive link to the areas history. Longer term, the works afford future adaptive re-use of the structure with local stakeholders, including Council. The approach to the conservation of Doherty House combined traditional and digital techniques, allowing a detailed investigation and understanding of the decay mechanisms to guide the successful and innovative conservation techniques used. This maximised the retention of heritage fabric, and consequently its cultural heritage value, providing a striking interpretive feature in this otherwise standard suburban development.

Final announcements will be made at the upcoming ceremony on the Awards Night Dinner to be held on the 16th of June.

05 May 2023

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21 June 2023

2023 AIA Victorian Architecture Awards

The 2023 Awards ceremony for the Victorian Australian Institute of Architects was held on Friday the 16th June.

Several representatives from RBA Architects and Conservation Consultants attended the event, where we were proud to receive an Award for Heritage Conservation for the Prahran Arcade Façade Conservation and a Commendation for Heritage – Conservation for the restoration of Doherty House in Tarneit.

Additionally, we were pleased to see Searle x Waldron receive an Award for Architecture for the Joyce Chapel Bridge and Wardle receive The William Wardell Award for Public Architecture for the Bendigo Law Courts – both projects that RBA have been involved in.

Learn more about the Prahran Arcade Facade Conservation here

Learn more about the Doherty House Restoration here

Doherty House, Tarneit (Image: Thurston Empson)

Bendigo Law Courts, Wardle (Image: Tim Griffith)

Prahran Arcade (Image: Thurston Empson)

Joyce Chapel Bridge, Searle x Waldron (Image: Peter Bennetts)


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RBA Projects Shortlisted for the 2023 AIA Victorian Architecture Awards.

At the recent AIA awards event, it was announced that two of RBA’s recent projects, the Prahran Arcade Façade Restoration and Doherty House, have been…

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