20 Sep 23

Architect and developer hold community consultation night for Younghusband adaptive reuse project

Woods Bagot and project Younghusband joint venture partners Ivanhoe Cambridge, Built and Irongate hosted a community information session for the residents of Kensington, addressing the progress of the Younghusband Wool Store redevelopment.

The purpose of the information session was to update the community on amendments to the town planning proposal, and to provide the opportunity for locals to ask questions of the team concerning the future shaping of the neighbourhood.

“Woods Bagot has been engaged on the project from 2016 and since then we’ve established an open dialogue with the community to build a sense of trust and responsibility,” says Woods Bagot Principal and project leader Peter Miglis.

“Addressing feedback from the previous community consultation session, the project team responded with changes to the civic plaza, removing the proposed sunken courtyard and corner kiosk to improve the openness and generosity of the public ground plane.

“The revised submission to town planning reflects the desires of the community in a democratic civic gesture with a raised lawn and generous public meeting space that is accessible to all.”

The community consultation session was held in the Younghusband Tallow Store building on Tuesday 5 September – one in a series of community information sessions held in recent months.

Source: North West City News. Photographer: Anna Komissarova

The evening was well attended, with more than 60 community members coming out to show their interest in the future of the project, with Woods Bagot architects, the consultant team and joint venture project leaders present to address planning enquiries. 

The community engagement program is recognised by the City of Melbourne as an effective means of building community rapport, engaging directly with the end users to ensure the best results for community wellbeing. Design strategies with genuine participatory processes lead to better informed communities and more impactful outcomes that represent the values and needs of their inhabitants.

“It’s wonderful to see the community invested in the preservation and adaptive reuse of these heritage buildings,” says project architect Wei Kiat Goh. “The residents are pleased with the direction of the project and our collaborative approach with them in creating a vibrant precinct that celebrates it past.”

Woods Bagot is deploying a ‘light touch’ approach to the existing Younghusband wool stores, retaining the rich heritage character of the brick warehouses, including decommissioned bale lifts, original Younghusband ghost signage, steel-framed windows, and a distinctive sawtooth roof.

“The more layers we peel back, the more we discover,” says Principal and project leader Peter Miglis. “Our approach has been to celebrate the building’s texture and patina, commemorating the 120 years of history embedded within the walls.

Source: North West City News. Photographer: Anna Komissarova

“It’s an honour to be trusted as the custodians of the site, tasked with excavating and preserving its stories for future generations,” Miglis continues. “The design journey has been one of learning for all involved. The various trades have learnt lost techniques of traditional construction methodologies in order to reinstate the heritage details in their most authentic form, like the herringbone timber floor structure that existed before.”

Stage one of the project encompasses 17,300 square metres of premium net-lettable area across the heritage wool store, offering some of the largest commercial office floorplates in Melbourne. With construction expected to be completed in late 2024, the joint venture is now seeking commercial tenants interested in a characterful workplace building within close commuting distance to the city.

The commercial office will be complimented with an integrated village including a new town centre, food and beverage offerings, and an activated retail laneway. This final stage incorporates the development of a six-storey commercial space with bespoke retail, comprising 13,300 square metres of net-lettable area and a new public plaza at the intersection of Chelmsford and Elizabeth streets.

For more information, visit younghusband.melbourne.


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