Heritage treasure meets modern style

TRANFORMATION: The old Norfolk Brewery in North Bendigo has had a makeover to become a medical centre. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

TRANFORMATION: The old Norfolk Brewery in North Bendigo has had a makeover to become a medical centre. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The Building Design Association of Victoria has nominated Bendigo company Planwise Design for an award for their revamp of the old Norfolk Brewery in North Bendigo. 

Heritage charm and contemporary style have come together in a new medical centre on Bayne Street, North Bendigo.

The firm made a deliberate effort to preserve a piece of Bendigo's industrial history while merging it with contemporary style.

Lead designer Glenn Eastwood said keeping the building's unique character intact was an essential part of the project. 

“We looked at this site several times over two years while it was on the market,” Mr Eastwood said. 

“The brief was to get the site to a place where it could be redeveloped initially, and then we could look at the interior to create a surgery that would suffice for the client’s practice. 

“He was keen to keep the history of the brewery throughout, so the secret was not to hide the building, but to use it in its original form and adapt it to his requirements."

The Norfolk Brewery has such a long history that an archaeologist was brought in during the excavation process to protect any artefacts. 

Even though bottle collectors had combed the site over the years, there were still some bottles and debris from the 1800s under the building. 

Mr Eastwood said it was a challenge to turn the Victorian-era factory into a bright, welcoming space.

“The interior was very dark originally. We had to be mindful of not punching too many holes in the exterior and making it unsafe and something it wasn’t,” Mr Eastwood said. 

“The building faces north onto Bayne Street, so we incorporated some elongated windows to the reception area, allowing the interior a connection with the outside.

"We were then able to open up the building, giving more light to the interior." 

The project has also been nominated for the Building Design Association's People's Choice Award. 

Design awards will be presented on Saturday, July 26. 

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