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Michael McKenna - Works


This project is for the City of Port Phillip and is the redevelopment of Excelsior Hall. The design converts the historic civic hall into 15 singles apartments for community housing. This is a subtle and civic minded development that retains urban memory and provides with much needed affordable housing. Excelsior Hall is of local heritage significance to Port Melbourne and was constructed in 1886 of prosaic timber framing and galvanised iron cladding. The hall had many uses through its history from boys club to RSL and in the 1980s became derelict.

The redevelopment restores the hall exterior although subtlety altered for the new functions. The exterior has replica materials, corrugated galvanised steel, oregon cladding and decorative cast iron elements. Apartments are achieved by an internal fitout over three levels including upper level loft units and ground floor disability access units. The technical resolution of the project intelligently uses multi storey timber framed construction technology (MRTFC) to reuse of existing timber structure, which is augmented with drywall fire rated plasterboard and acoustic and thermal insulation.

A new timber entry building on Princes Street stands clear of the hall as a contrasting urban element and is a new address for the upper level units. Its design is contemporary with timber and glazed curtain wall detailing.

Stage: Construction complete.

Timeline: 2001-05