This brick beauty was originally the ANZ bank on High Street, Northcote, an inner-city suburb of Melbourne.
With a formal authority it had once welcomed people in to make cash transactions.
Drawing Room Architecture’s client, Dr.Tamsin Franklin of Turn the Corner Medical Clinic, took on the space and wanted to change all that.
With a popular existing medical clinic next door, bursting at the seams, they jumped at the chance to create the kind of medical clinic that would celebrate their vision of wellness.
Drawing Room Architecture’s brief was to make it NOT look or feel like a medical clinic.
No white, no foreboding formal reception desk, no hard hose-down-able surfaces.
The space was to be warm, inviting, and inclusive.
With the main patron groups being sexual health and maternal child health, individuals required very different waiting spaces. So the one large central space that worked for its earlier life as a bank chamber needed replanning.
Drawing Room Architecture created nine new consulting rooms, a treatment room, vaccination room, nurses’ room, and two separate waiting areas.
Every square metre had to count.
With accessibility key to patrons with prams, wheelchairs, or walkers, a generous-sized lift was needed to connect the two floors.
The clients wanted their patrons to be able to wait in comfort, plug in their laptop, do some work, grab a glass of water, throw out the kids snack wrappers, or read a book in a welcoming environment.
Beyond the spatial requirements, the space needed to be local, warm, personal, and inviting.
Colours of the bush were selected to create a series of entry, waiting, corridor and consulting spaces.
Names like Cuddlepot, Green Ash, Jungle Moss, and Thicket and Banksia Leaf spoke to the several layers of green that climb the walls.
Shades get lighter as you move up to the second level.
And warmer as you find your way to the family waiting area at the rear of the building.
Blackbutt, Victorian Ash, and Huon Pine circular table tops offer surfaces to wait, work, rest, and play.
Circular lines etch the floor speaking to the flow of foot traffic as well as a disruption to the earlier authority of the double height space.
Woolly, textured, hand-woven jute line the waiting benches.
There are no typical white hard surfaces here.
Crisp green tiled bays indicate public hand wash and filtered water stations where glasses are used instead of disposable cups.
These water stations speak to the local area of cafes, pubs, and wine bars.
Bins for recycled and organic waste allow patrons to clear out their bags with peace of mind.
Even waste is considered and well cared for here.
A suspended baffle hovers over the main area, disrupting views, and creating a more intimate space.
It casts angular shadows as the daylight moves around the interior throughout the day.
A unique reception desk allows the staff and visitors some humour in an otherwise charged environment.
Open pigeon holes line both waiting areas, waiting quietly for the lifting of COVID restrictions, when toys, a library of books, and a family of plants can once again find their home.
Large graphics march along the new timber floors, way-finding for new visitors, bringing them to their Doctor’s door.
In the consulting rooms themselves, a relaxed palette of green, bayleaf, timber, and black help doctors and patrons converse in a relaxed, informal environment.
Those needing to head upstairs pass a painting of the Australian bush painted for the space by local artist Joe Blundell.
Layers of thought and love have been focused into this space, by the visionary clients, Drawing Room Architecture, and the building team.
Project size – 200 m2
Site area – 250 m2
Completion date – 2020
Building levels – 2
Drawing Room Architecture
Founder, Nicola Dovey, has over ten years’ experience working at many scales and across many programs, from universities and stadiums to schools, community centres, apartment buildings, museums, houses, restaurants, shops and offices, winning awards along the way.
The Drawing Room Architecture team focuses on providing a holistic approach to design projects. They work with their clients to create master plans all the way down to selecting the furniture.
Nicola understands the importance of getting the broad strokes right from the outset; understanding the site, brief, and budget and the best opportunities they offer.
Melbourne-based Ultimate Chippy specialises in office and shop fitouts using high-quality materials and made-to-measure products. They service all areas within a 25km radius of Melbourne’s CBD.
Daniel is a professional photographer based in Melbourne, specialising in lifestyle, interior, and architectural photography
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Design © 2020 Drawing Room Architecture. All Rights Reserved.| Images © 2020 Daniel Fuge. All Rights Reserved.
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