Public Architecture Award 2013 - South Australian Architecture Awards
This complex re-development project provides extensive community facilities in the State Heritage Listed St. Peters Town Hall and associated former Post Office buildings. The site is an amalgamation o...
This complex re-development project provides extensive community facilities in the State Heritage Listed St. Peters Town Hall and associated former Post Office buildings. The site is an amalgamation of different buildings, which have been added to over a period of 124 years culminating in this project, which commenced at the end of 2010 and was opened in December 2012.
The major new additions were a first floor Library Mezzanine within the cavernous space of the existing Town Hall and two new building entries. A new main entry has been inserted between the Town Hall and former Post Office. This gives access to all parts of the complex from the rear carpark and Payneham Road. A smaller single entry box has been located on the St. Peter’s Street side and gives direct access to the Library entry, from a small public plaza and adjacent carpark. Both street frontages have received significant urban design upgrades.
Inside the main space of the Town Hall an upper Mezzanine has been inserted with its floor level matching that of the old Town Hall Offices at the front of the building. This space is lit by six large arch-headed windows on each side, which we believe be the tallest and finest of their type in Adelaide.
Throughout this process we have been guided by a strong desire to achieve very clear and strong demarcations between existing Heritage fabric and new work.
This approach has informed the design choices made in regard to architectural form, massing, shape, fenestration, materials and finishes. In this way, the new work is clearly distinct from the original building fabric. These ideas are given their strongest expression at the junctions of the new glazed entries and the existing built fabric. The entries are held away from the existing by 0.8m and only penetrate at four points giving public access to the Library (twice), the Heritage Centre and the tenanted spaces.
A coherent and connected built form has been delivered, which celebrates both old and new. Existing spaces have been transformed into a modern collection of staff and public areas, a function hall, relaxation and reading zones, a children’s area, community meeting rooms, galleries and tenanted spaces which are leased to the Eastern Health Authority and the Three D Community Radio Station.
The project incorporates roof-mounted photovoltaic panels of 10kW capacity, stores and re-uses on-site rainwater for toilet flushing and incorporates timber finishes as new wall and ceiling linings and trim.
In the Library two plywood-clad boxes provide a services shaft and lift shaft to enable access to all levels. A new steel, timber and glass grand staircase also connects the new Mezzanine level to the ground floor. Particular attention was paid to the internal acoustic environment with sound absorbent surfaces on wall and ceiling planes.
A lively and dynamic interior celebrates the new, but makes strong references to the past. In particular the long ‘side’ spaces between the new Mezzanine and the external wall celebrate the civic grandeur of the space.