McKenzie Street Aged Services Centre
- k20 Architecture
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, codes and to meet with the increased service demand to the growing municipality.
The brief to k20 Architecture was to create a new Community Care and Inclusion Department space to cater for the growing needs of the expanding Community and aging clientele and support the increase in staff required to run the department.
k20’s aim was to create an important place which caringly connects aging persons within the community with the site.
While the City of Melton is rapidly expanding, so is, as with the rest of Melbourne, its aging population. With this phenomenon comes the need to provide the necessary services, allowing older people to both stay in their homes, and lead active lives within the community.
Timber was selected as the main component within the new McKenzie Street Aged Service Centre. Timber is a natural product with reference to connecting people with the natural environment, there is a memory and sensory experience timber captures. This is particularly relevant as the facility caters to the ageing population of Melton City Council.
The existing 5 McKenzie Street building, approximately 300 square metres in area, was not of a standard or size to allow for all necessary program requirements to occur under the one roof.
k20 Architecture designed the new spaces promoting some rooms as open plan, while others are enclosed to cater for that level of independence. Where staff once had to speak in hushed tones, the new spaces have been acoustically designed and treated to allow a sense of openness and transparency, while still operating in a highly functional manner. With up to 150 staff using the centre, the amenities had to be generous.
The breakout area serves as a crucial meeting point promoting interaction and a shared area with the ability to open to an external courtyard and cater for large numbers of people at any one time. The design includes dual sinks and sufficient bench space to allow different groups to use these amenities at the one time.
The new McKenzie Street Aged Services Centre incorporates sustainable design innovation, along with building repurposing at the very forefront of its design.
With the support of Council k20 Architecture produced a design that would allow for the existing McKenzie Street Aged Services Building to be retained rather than demolished.
While the existing building required some updating, its general structure was able to be reworked as part of a larger scheme.
The existing building includes new acoustic treatment to walls and insulation of existing ceilings in the areas of refurbishment to improve the acoustic and thermal performance of the building. Mechanical and electrical services to the building are located to promote ease of ongoing maintenance and remote monitoring with the design of roof drainage minimising ongoing maintenance and roof safe access costs.
The new McKenzie Street Aged Services Centre was purposely sited to take advantage of the northerly aspect of the site, providing a Civic presence to McKenzie Street and the Corner of Smith Street.
The building maximises the promotion of natural light throughout the centre and solar collection minimising the ongoing electrical operation costs.
Controlled northern light through the tall windows is prevalent along McKenzie Street with louvres completing the shading requirement for sun control, providing designed shading to the western facade avoiding direct sunlight and promoting continued views and access to natural light.
Highlight celestial windows located at the core of the new wing provide further natural light to the centre of floor plate and also purge hot air during the warmer months of the year.
Timber was chosen within the new McKenzie Street Aged Services Centre to reduce the carbon footprint, and green gas emission during the construction process.
k20 Architecture selected timber within the design for its durability, being a natural material and reference to Council’s approach to Civic buildings having a timber appearance in turn providing a strengthened community appearance for Melton City Council.
The feature cladding timbers selected by k20 Architecture, both the spotted gum and black butt, are plantation grown and FSC certified.
Being a light weight structure, the use of timber meant a more economically sustainable outcome for Council as the speed of delivery and construction time frame were both reduced.