Life after prison - precinct revived with quality design
Category Adaptive Reuse | Project Industry Lane, Pentridge, Coburg | Architect CBG Architects (Crema Bahramis Giordano)
The historic industry precinct was the first part of the former Pentridge Prison site to undergo conservation and adaptive reuse. The precinct contained a steel foundry, woollen mill and numerous workshops for trades such as shoemaking and carpentry. The buildings were redundant and in disrepair prior to their adaptive reuse.
The precinct forms an important part of the site which is on the Victorian Heritage Register. The challenge was to provide residential solutions that would conserve the historic fabric and provide appropriately scaled new additions while maintaining the cultural heritage significance of the precinct as a whole.
The original facades of the brick workshops disguise internal residential shell spaces on two levels. The laneway has been narrowed to gain small courtyards for each street-level dwelling. The remnant bluestone walls of the foundry building were 'filled' with contemporary three-storey townhouses to return the block to its original height. Imaginative landscaping and public art interprets the former activities on the site.
Tailoring design solutions to each historic building type that are responsive to the original building scale and materials, and providing high quality details to the public areas of the site, have meant that the precinct has retained the majority of surviving historic fabric and gained modern additions which are clearly distinct from but respectful of the precinct's heritage.