Hawthorn Town Hall redevelopment

Article image - Hawthorn Town Hall redevelopment The refurbished Hawthorn Town Hall Peddle Thorp design director Peter Brook said the refurbishment of the Hawthorn Town Hall will help preserve the past and protect the future.

“The redevelopment of the Hawthorn Town Hall complex involved internal renovation works and restoration of the facade.

“The main hall, exhibition galleries, art development and rehearsal space, meeting rooms, administration and office space, and a cafe will provide an outstanding civic and arts precinct.

“With this in mind we approached the design and rejuvenation of, the Hawthorn Town Hall into a truly multipurpose arts building to serve the community, by providing a positive and engaging new centre for the development and display of the performing and visual arts.

 “It is our intention to create a flexible and manageable building that can change to suit the demands placed upon it.

“In order to achieve this, we have created a series of flexible spaces that maintain the functions of the existing town hall while making better use of, and connections to, other existing spaces within the facility by creating a network of internal ‘streets’ that can be opened or closed to create secure zones.  This will aid the management and operation of the differing functions within the facility,” he said.

Sustainable Built Environments senior associate, Jane Toner said the adaptive reuse of the Hawthorn Town Hall offered the community the opportunity to preserve the important heritage building while meeting the expectations of the present and saving valuable resources.

“Our heritage buildings were originally designed to include passive design strategies to some extent, as the services on which we now rely for comfort did not exist.

“Bypassing the wasteful process of demolishing and reconstructing buildings, alone sells the environmental benefits of adaptive reuse.”

Modern expectations of comfort and accessibility, the passage of time, and conservation issues can make incorporating modern sustainable design features difficult and is a balancing act for this type of project.

However, the environmental benefits, combined with energy savings and the social advantage of retaining a valued heritage place make adaptive reuse of historic buildings an essential component of sustainable development.

The essence of the transformation of this important historical building is to preserve the proud heritage of the Hawthorn Town Hall, whilst creating a state-of-the-art cultural precinct for the Boroondara community.

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