Conversion of a two storey RSA restaurant/bar and function rooms to a wellness centre for Bays Health.
The existing building was purpose built in 1996 for the Browns Bay Returned Services Association (RSA) with a ground floor of approximately 836m2, first floor of approximately 541m2 and overall footprint of 885m2. The construction combined solid concrete masonry and precast panels with monolithic plaster on timber frame to the roof gables, requiring a reclad solution to the weaker elements. The height between ground and first floors was a generous 4.5m with a further 3.7m to walls of the first floor, giving ceiling heights of 3.6m and 3.0m respectively. This combined with the pedimented gable treatment to the street created a temple like monumentality to Bute Road.
The client's brief was to convert the upper floor to premises for relocation of the nearby Browns Bay Medical Centre and provide various sized tenancies on the ground floor to suit business that would be compatible with the Medical Centre. The intention was to create a destination for good health and wellbeing services collectively identified under a Bays Health banner. Tenants of the ground floor now include a pharmacist, physiotherapist, audiologist, and a charity organisation supporting independant living for people with disablities. With the focus on supportive healthy living the building needed to lose some of the monumentality and capture a more welcoming, professional yet not sterile, vibe, whilst maximising the commercial success of such a venture.
The blank ground floor street facade was opened up with large shop front windows and the whole of the western facade was activated as an "internal street" addressing the car parking area by providing a generous 2.4m wide verandah/covered walkway from which all tenancies could be accessed. First floor windows were replaced with double-glazed windows to suit the internal partitioning, furniture and privacy requirements of the Medical Centre with window sills raised to desk height and the cavity below infilled with plaster finished masonry. Tiled roofs were extended beyond the north, south and east walls to provide more weather protection to the reclad gable ends. Swan Railley also worked alongside the client on the interior furnishings and colour scheme of the Medical Centre and common areas.