Boroondara Community Health Centre Extension
Inner East Community Health Service
The Boroondara Community Health Centre occupied the former Hawthorn Post Office for over a decade until the increasing demand for community health services instigated an expansion plan.
Adding onto the 1908 Romanesque Revival red brick and sandstone building presented a range of challenges along with the at-grade carpark to the rear where existing parking capacity had to be retained.
Rather than diminishing the presence of the heritage building by replicating its language, the new two storey extension, with carpark below, takes its cue from a previous brickwork addition built along the western boundary accommodating a café, and facing onto the civic plaza. The overall form is a gabled rectangle, clad in metal wall sheeting that extends over the roof to give a consistent and homogeneous appearance – reinforcing the object as a ‘box’.
Windows are arranged as vertical apertures, relating back to the proportions of the heritage Post Office. The openings along the west and east elevations are set deep into the cladding, shading the glass and exposing colourful reveals. Large picture windows at the south provide views through the existing eucalypts at the adjacent carpark.
Fencing around the site and carpark is perforated metal sheet, screen printed with images of vegetation. In addition to screening the carpark and defining the site boundary, this ‘verdant’ fencing forms a base to the new extension; visually connecting the elevated building to the ground plane and playfully integrating with the surrounding greenery. The expansion has created additional consulting rooms, offices and open plan workstation areas, enabling the Health Centre to continue delivering first class services to the community.