The Challenge

The new locomotive workshop was originally constructed in 1907 for the manufacture of steam locomotives and is one of a group of historically significant late Victorian and early Federation industrial buildings. The project involved the construction of two additional floors within the single-story building to accommodate creative and highly functional, research, laboratory and office space to incubate start-up companies with advanced technologies related to the creation of new biomedical and biomechanical products.

The Solution

The idea was to touch the existing building fabric as little as possible, to expose the original structure by leaving brickwork unpainted and the roof support system and south lighting visible and to retain features such as the traveling crane and rails and hand basin facilities as exhibits demonstrating the previous use of the building. A focus was created around the center row of elegant paired cast-iron columns, the capital blocks that support massive crane beams running the length of the building that in turn carry rails that guide and support the overhead traveling cranes. The two new floors step back from this central void creating galleries at each level that provide access to the tenancies on those levels. The interstitial space created forms a central atrium that allows both visitors and tenants to appreciate the scale and form of the original building.

Results

People enjoy working in this stimulating environment, seeing seeing the old building up close and connecting with the notion that the building remains as relevant today as it ever has been in its history.