Aged ser­vices cen­tre gets highly suc­cess­ful makeover

The brief to k20 Ar­chi­tec­ture was to cre­ate one new cen­tre, with the ex­ist­ing and new build­ing able to func­tion to­gether or in­de­pen­dently.

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

McKen­zie Street Aged Ser­vices Cen­tre by k20 Ar­chi­tec­ture was de­signed to cater for the grow­ing needs of the ex­pand­ing Mel­ton Com­mu­nity and age­ing clien­tele, while sup­port­ing the in­crease in staff re­quired to run the depart­ment.

The City of Mel­ton pre­vi­ously had a num­ber of aged service cen­tres in its do­main, many of which re­quired mod­i­fi­ca­tion and up­grad­ing to com­ply with cur­rent stan­dards and meet with the in­creased service de­mand to the grow­ing mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The ex­ist­ing aged ser­vices cen­tre, at 5 McKen­zie Street, con­sisted of a 1970s build­ing, ap­prox­i­mately 300 square me­tres in area and was not of a stan­dard or size to al­low for all nec­es­sary pro­gram re­quire­ments to oc­cur un­der the one roof. The spa­ces did not al­low for mul­ti­ple ser­vices and were noisy, with those pro­vid­ing phone coun­selling heard across the room.

The brief to k20 Ar­chi­tec­ture was to cre­ate one new cen­tre, with the ex­ist­ing and new build­ing able to func­tion to­gether or in­de­pen­dently. k20 Ar­chi­tec­ture be­lieve the re-use of ex­ist­ing com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties pro­vides a cost-ef­fec­tive, value-added so­lu­tion for clients, while re­duc­ing the car­bon foot­print. For this rea­son the de­sign for McKen­zie Street Aged Ser­vices only al­lowed for min­i­mal re­moval of in­ter­nal walls, which in turn im­proved the cir­cu­la­tion ar­range­ment of the build­ing.

‘Breath­ing space’

Two ad­di­tional pro­gram spa­ces were pro­vided within the ex­ist­ing build­ing (creat­ing a to­tal of four rooms), to­gether with meet­ing rooms. The ex­ist­ing cen­tre was com­pletely re-clad in both spot­ted gum and black­butt to­gether with new steel-framed windows, also in­cor­po­rated within the new cen­tre. k20 Ar­chi­tec­ture al­lowed for a num­ber of sub­tle dif­fer­ences be­tween the old and new, with the new cen­tre clad en­tirely in the one timber, black­butt, and fea­tur­ing in­creased ceil­ing heights of up to 4.5 me­tres. A cov­ered walk­way pro­vides the ‘breath­ing space’ be­tween past and present and gen­er­ous floor-to-ceil­ing windows also al­low north­ern light into the new cen­tre.

While the McKen­zie Street el­e­va­tion sets up a ‘rhythm’ with its elon­gated windows, the western el­e­va­tion to

Smith Street is beau­ti­fully ex­pressed in the form of an over­sized win­dow box, framed in steel with alu­minium lou­vres to fil­ter the harsh af­ter­noon light.

Con­tin­ued page 12

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