Elgin House Medical Suites

  • area / size 5,381 sqft
  • Completed 2016
  • Location Melbourne, Australia,
  • POLYstudio completed the Elgin House building for various medical suites in a dynamic space in Melbourne, Australia.

    Elgin House is a medical centre consisting of specialist consulting suites retrofitted into a Victorian-era building occupying a key corner site in Carlton. Though not obvious from its street presence, the building originally consisted of two shops with upstairs dwellings and a corner pub. Over time, these separate tenancies had been amalgamated and significant penetrations made into the dividing walls, as well as the in-filling of a light-well between the two shops. This process of expediency resulted in a warren of rooms with no clear organization and little registration of the original spatial structure. Our approach has been to restore and express the original spatial structure where possible whilst also inscribing a clear and legible functional organization.

    The building has been designed to operate with maximum leasing and operational flexibility. Each floor has its own waiting, reception and administration facilities servicing three consulting rooms and a treatment room. As a result, there is in-built flexibility for leasing to individual medical specialists, or to specialist groups occupying either an entire floor or the entire building.

    Our design approach has been driven by two key thematic binaries: heritage / contemporary; and, addition / subtraction. Contemporary insertions and interventions into the heritage fabric have been clearly expressed and articulated through a bold materials and color palette. The original light-well has been re-instated as a courtyard for staff use which opens off the staff kitchen and also serves to provide natural daylight into the centre of the building floorplate. It has been painted to contrast with the heritage color scheme of the rest of the exterior facades. The insertion of a new lift shaft and stair that connects the two levels is also clearly identifiable as an addition within the centre of the building. Within the main public circulation spaces, dark colored reveal plates express the large openings that have been cut through the original party wall.

    Photography: David Patson