Mountain Retreat Medical Centre
The original building at 430 Macquarie Street, was built circa 1870, and was initially used as public drinking house, called ‘The Mountain Retreat’. The building was converted for use as a medical practice in the 1970s. The building had a single entry porch off Macquarie St, which was very narrow with two external steps, both of which represented a source of considerable difficulty for a large percentage of clinic’s current clients.
The essence of the work was to build four new consulting suites in a new copper clad hipped roofed building to the north of the existing clinic, on what was vacant land. The major design aim was to create an appropriate non-institutional environment for the new consulting suites, to benefit both patient and doctor. The scheme pulls the copper form away from the existing building and the boundary wall to provide natural light from two directions on a very tight site. This provided the opportunity for a luscious private garden courtyard for viewing in the consultation rooms. As a public gesture, the entry ramp is defined by a folded concrete seat for passers by to utilise while waiting for the bus.
The project represents a significant addition in a historically sensitive residential area. The new building was conceived as a contemporary ‘outbuilding’. It was important to us as architects that the dialogue between old and new was appropriate and the use of copper for the new was part of that philosophy. It is in effect a new ‘civic’ building respecting the values of the community in which it is situated.
AIA National: National Award for Commercial Architecture 2013
AIA Tasmania: Colin Philp Award for Commercial Architecture 2013