Diverse living beyond the inner city
Category Adaptive Reuse | Project The Mill, Raleigh Street, Essendon | Architect Plus Architecture
The former Essendon Cereal Mill site consisted of a four-storey brick mill at the front and a foundry with saw-toothed roofs at the rear backing onto the railway line. The site is located within a residential neighbourhood with mainly Edwardian and Post-War detached houses.
The challenge was to convert the Mill and foundry buildings to a residential use by inserting a large number of new dwellings within the historic building fabric. For the Mill, this required keeping the building largely intact and maintaining existing window openings. The Mill was also a dominant visual landmark building for the development.
The project created a mix of apartments, warehouse shells, townhouses and home offices. The principal elevation of the Mill has a prominent high stepped brick pediment. New four storey blocks of apartments were sited adjacent to, but lower than this front elevation, to preserve the prominence of the Mill. In the foundry building, the original sawtooth roof structure provided internal light and character to the warehouse shells within.
Contemporary development can gain character by sympathetically respecting the prominence of historic or original buildings and such character is even more valued in a suburban location where it encourages a variety of housing types typically found in inner areas.